time + time + time (adoption/foster)


This world is full of immediate gratification. We can ask Siri and she will answer, we don’t even have to look on the internet. And speaking of the internet, we can look up anything we want, buy anything we want, whenever we want. We have fast food and fast flavored coffee, immediate books on our iPad (yes, I’m an Apple junky), and we can start our car from inside a building. (I don’t have that feature on my car, but I sure do want one.)

Because everything in our society is instant, parents think they’re hurting children should be bonded within months of entering their life. They think their child’s negative behaviors, should stop, they should lull off to a sweet slumber, and they should understand consequences and the rules of the house within a short period of time (and a few months is a relatively short amount of time).

I think of what happened to hurting children like tearing down a garage. We tore ours down to build a larger one and add a level on top, the deconstruction was quick and not too difficult (for big, strong, burly guys anyway). However, the rebuilding process takes a LONG time, it’s detailed, involved, it’s time consuming, and it’s stressful.

For some children, the tearing down process didn’t take long, even infants are greatly affected in a short amount of time by neglect, abuse, and trauma. Children are even affected in utero by what the birth mother does or doesn’t do. Just as a garage demolition doesn’t take long, neither did it take long for our children to be broken down.

And, just as the building up process takes a long time when creating a new deservecommitmentstructure, so does the building up of our children. It takes work, dedication, compassion, and understanding.

None of us want to face a battle and know it won’t end tomorrow. I find it helpful to remember what happened to the hurting child, and where they came from. Their trauma affected them beyond what we can see. So, focus on the positives and keep moving forward, you can do this.

Here are some links to help you out:
why consequences and rewards don’t work
the importance of consistency & routine
detecting attachment issues
rocking: a simple first step to bonding (and it doesn’t just apply to infants)

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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.


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?

time, time, time is tickin’ away

Waiting on the Department of Human Services. As always.
Our attorney cannot schedule a court date for Jeremiah’s adoption until she hears back from our adoption worker.
Our adoption worker seems to be under a little bit of stress. I don’t know if it comes from her duties at the Dept., or if it comes from her home life. One thing I do know is that she might want to think about changing her recording on her voice mail… “Hi, you’ve reached Megan Cartwright. I’m unavailable to get to the phone right now. Please leave a message, and it will be returned within forty-eight hours. Oh CRAP!”
It seems that her life is a tad bit out of control right now, so I’m not surprised that virtually NOTHING has been done with Jeremiah’s case. All I can say is, I am SO glad that termination is done. The worrying is over. Now we just wait. And since Megan is in charge of that, we could be waiting a long time.