Tag Archives: perspective

we’re ALL the lucky ones (adoption/foster)

ALLlucky

“She’s so lucky to have you.” Has anyone said this to you? There are certain comments and assumptions adoptive and foster parents don’t want to hear, and this seems to be an important one. But, I’m going to create some controversy. Why is it so wrong for someone to say your child is lucky to be with you?

Adoption comes about through all sorts of avenues. Parents adopt children from other countries, these children have been placed in an orphanage because a parent didn’t want to care for them or couldn’t provide for them. Children are placed in foster care because the parents did not provide a safe environment for them, and the child may then be adopted. And, birth parents choose adoption for their child through domestic adoption.

I would agree that in a perfect world, all these children would be the luckiest if they stayed with their birth family, where they were loved and kept safe. Although, to be honest, that’s really hard for me to say. Why? Because I’m selfish, and I adore my kids and couldn’t imagine my life without them.

The fact remains that our kids aren’t with their birth families, they’re with us. I find it surprising that parents don’t feel their children are lucky or blessed to be with them. In so many instances, it’s better the child is with their foster or adoptive family than with their birth family (hence the need for foster care and adoption).

I’m not belittling the truth that an adopted or foster child has suffered loss. Because of that loss, they are NOT lucky, they are NOT lucky to have gone through trauma (even the removal of child from her birth mother can be traumatic), neglect, or abuse, not at all. Yet, they’ve gone through that fire, and now you’re on the other side, ready to love and support them, and because of that, I think they’re very lucky indeed.

In the adoption and foster community many ideas about children, their feelings, birth parents, etc. circle. Just as negativity is contagious, so are ideas that can be skewed or not thought through.

Children should not be told they’re lucky to be in their adoptive or foster family, but when someone says to you, “Your children are lucky to be with you,” I believe they are saying it out of kindness. Maybe they feel they couldn’t do what you’re doing, as not everyone is made to be a foster or adoptive parent.

The comment, “Your child’s lucky to have you,” can also stem from a persons ability to see where your child would be without you. I know where my kids would be if we hadn’t adopted them, and in those situations they wouldn’t be lucky.

So in reality, are most of our children lucky or blessed to be with us? Yes. Would our children be better off where they were before we adopted them – with an absent parent, abusive parent, in an orphanage, or homeless? No, that’s why we adopted them. So, is your child blessed to have you in their life? Yes. I believe God stepped into their lives to give them a new beginning.

I don’t mean to offend anyone, nor do I mean to say, look how lucky my children are to have me, no, but I do feel we are all blessed to be together. I don’t think people who make those “lucky” or “blessed” comments mean that our children are lucky to have gone through great loss and pain. I think they see a new family, and how it will benefit the child to have a chance at love.

We may want to make a point as an adoptive or foster parent that we’re the lucky ones, and that’s okay. Someone who hasn’t adopted or fostered doesn’t share our perspective of how a child without any blood relation can come in and turn your life upside down (in a good way). They don’t see what a hurting child holds in their hands, and we can share that with others.

But we don’t have to discount that our children are blessed now that they’re with us.

Has anyone said your kids are lucky to be with you? How did you feel about their perspective?

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does foster care require all of us?

Being a foster parent comes with its share of immense responsibility. What type of foster parent are you going to be? How are you going to treat the children? Too many times I see foster parents who don’t take their “job” seriously. They almost see it as babysitting.

Once in a while I come across a foster parent who really gets it. It’s all about the kids and their healing process. They forego everything trivial in their lives to help one child. They see they can make a difference in one person’s life, forever.
One of those is a woman named Janelle. She has laid down her life, and so has her husband, to be the parents their foster/adopted children need. Those children come first, no one else.

When Janelle and her husband decided that they weren’t going to do foster care any longer (they have adopted one through foster, and are about to adopt the other), their case worker said, “We’ll be losing a great foster home.” It was a great compliment.
Janelle followed up with, “My focus is to be a good mom to the two children I have in my home.”
The worker said, “That’s a good way to look at it.”
When Janelle and I talked about their conversation we both looked at each other and said, “It’s the only way to look at it.”

Some think that if you’re a foster parent you just keep on rolling the kids through. That’s not my perspective. Children need to live in one home, with one loving family so they can become whole. It’s a rare case when bio parents can get their act together enough to parent the child they have neglected and/or abused.
These kids also need a lot of attention and focus from those who have committed themselves to loving them. Their minds have been filled with hatred, fear, great inconsistencies, and of course neglect and abuse. It’s going to take time. Time. Time. Time.

fosterrequire

How much time do we have? I know in Janelle’s heart, she would love to help more children, but she has decided to face reality. She is being realistic, and knows she would have too much on her plate if she were to take care of another foster child. She knows what they need.

My husband and I gave up going to the gym during the three years we were fostering. I gained weight, my husband lost muscle that he had worked for so many years to attain. We lived life differently. Our family was the priority. Not the block party, or dinner with friends. We didn’t get many date nights because we knew the children wouldn’t do well with a stranger watching them.
So, what would you give up so that you could help a child? Is there anything that can be moved around in your life? Adjusted? Thrown out?

request for more parenting time. status: denied

This morning wrapped up the final hearing on whether T (bio dad) should have more time with Jeremiah. Two hours were spent last Monday and one hour today bringing forth opinions on why or why not T should have longer visits with his son. Everyone that works with the Dept. was in agreement that more time with T would not be in Jeremiah’s best interest. Thankfully the Magistrate agreed and denied the request.
Justin has relayed much of what is said in the hearings, as I don’t attend them. The most absurd statements are made during these gatherings. I decided to share some of them.
~ One of the specialists testified that Jeremiah only takes a few steps during his visits. Our perspective: Jeremiah is walking AND running very well.
~ His bio father said, “He (J) is not a kid that wants to be read to.” Our perspective: Jeremiah loves books, and has been looking at them on his own since he was nine months old. He now looks through books while pointing and jabbering. I am sure this has no connection to us reading to him on a daily basis. (Mocking smiley face inserted here.)
~ The word “docile” was used regarding Jeremiah. Our perspective: I just have to laugh, as Jeremiah is anything BUT docile. He is a very active, happy, and emotional child. He is not afraid to make his needs known, usually through a piercing scream. He loves to chase his sister around the house, when he begins attending school we have no doubt he will be the class clown since he is always showing off. Docile? Seriously?
The saddest part of it is that during his visits with his bio father, he is docile. Those who have seen in him in both our home and at the visits testify that he is a completely different child there versus here.
Thank God we only have a little over a month until the Termination trial.