Tag Archives: foster care system

Documentary-The Truth About Adoption

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I watched this video recently, and as heartbreaking as it is, it offers a very accurate depiction of the issue of children languishing in foster care.  This video is from the UK, but is reflective of the same issue children in foster care face here in Canada, as well as the US.  There are a myriad of components contributing to why children stay so long in care, but in this video, we see two of the main reasons; waiting for children to be emancipated from their birth parents and become legally available for adoption, and the challenge of social workers to find homes for older children and siblings.

The hardest part of watching this, is probably the realization, that these beautiful little souls are three cases of thousands in just their country alone. If you’re considering adoption, perhaps you could also consider being the happy ending to a story like these.

The Truth About Adoption

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To Be Or Not To Be?

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So now we’re at the point, where I’m not so patiently waiting for the weekend to pass after seeing three siblings on Adopt Ontario, that I had called and requested more information for. I’m still torn if we’re ready to embark on this journey, but at the same time, I keep looking at their profiles, hanging on our fridge, and I’m desperately excited and drawn to these three little ones. I’ve spent the last 48+ hours picturing us with two sons and a daughter in all kinds of family scenarios. It feels right. They are the first thing I’m thinking of when I wake up and the last thing I think about at night. At the same time, I’m trying incredibly hard not to get caught up in my thoughts and dreams in case it doesn’t work out. My heart isn’t really in agreement with me on that mission though, so it’s a bit of a struggle.

Fast forward to Monday. I managed to survive the weekend. I was off work that day and trying not to watch the clock. At around 11am, I got a text from E asking if I’d heard yet. I told her I hadn’t and her next question was did I call back yet. I told her no, and she more or less asked what I was waiting for. We agreed I’d email instead and try emailing a couple of her contacts in case the person I contacted wasn’t in. The nerves started to build and I was drawing a total blank on Carter’s name. So I went to Adopt Ontario to look them up. When I did, my heart sank. They were gone. I told E, and finished the sentence typing, “Gasp!”. She told me not to panic, that perhaps they just had to make an adjustment to their information. Worst case scenario someone had expressed interest in them, in which case, legally they have to take their profiles down. But she assured me that it didn’t mean it was over. So I sent the email, now a million times more nervous than before.

I had to wait a couple of hours, and I think it’s pretty obvious the answer I received, but here it is….

There is a family that is being explored at this time for these children. I am sorry that this is the news I have for you. Please keep checking in on the site as there are always children coming up.

Everything in me deflated. Such a disappointment. I texted E, and she told me not to give up hope, that just because a family was being explored, didn’t mean that they were the right family. Their profiles could reappear, I could still be their Mom. As I said to the contact at Adopt Ontario, as sad as I was to receive that answer, I was happy for them if they were on their way to their forever home. Ultimately that was what was most important. It just surprised me that a sibling group of three disappeared that fast, being they’re one of the hardest to place categories of children right now. So naively, it didn’t even enter my consciousness that there would be other families that quickly.

In my heart of hearts, since this experience, I don’t think these were our kids. I know from hearing other’s stories that just because there’s a connection, it doesn’t always lead to adoption. I wouldn’t be disappointed if I were wrong. Well, let me rephrase that. It would break my heart if I saw their profiles go up again, knowing that it didn’t work out with the other family. For both the kids and the potential parents. I still would selfishly be happy to have another chance, but that still wouldn’t mean we’d ultimately be chosen. And we’d still have to do some soul searching to see if we were willing to make the changes to find a new home so we could take these little ones in if it got to that point.

For now, whenever I go to bed, I put a little wish out to the universe that these children did find their forever home, and that they received the adoptive parents that they need and deserve. I tell the universe that our paths are meant to cross, so be it, but that I hope they’re happy and healthy with their new family. Ultimately, I know I can’t keep hoping they’ll find their way back to us. Not only because it wouldn’t be fair to them to make them wait longer than they already have, but also because I also can’t call a halt to the journey before we’ve started. I know if I focus on these little ones, I may be overlooking the children we are meant to find. Avery, Matthew and Carter made a huge impression on my heart, and I know that won’t change regardless. If they are meant to be ours, they will be. If not, that means our children are still out there, and meant to be with us. Whatever happens, I will never forget these three. So I keep a little place in my heart for them, and I’m pretty sure I always will.

Now these kids weren’t the ones, and I must admit, if they garnered that reaction, it kinda scares me what kind of disaster I’ll be when we find the kids we actually end up adopting. And if I’m that bad when I see a picture, God help me when we actually meet them for the first time!

This Weekend’s Obsession

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As I posted in my last entry, I’ve been reading the blog called Fosterhood in NYC.  Last week I stumbled upon it, and after I read a few intriguing and super funny posts, I decided to start at the beginning.  Prior to the weekend, I was about a year into Rebecca’s journey into foster parenting.  By the weekend, on my agenda, was to find out what happened to her and her the three foster children she’d fostered, and to read through to the end.

I spent most of Saturday night and Sunday night, reading into the wee hours of the morning, to the point I was nodding off and could barely stay awake.  But I couldn’t stop reading!  So I would change position, wake myself up a bit, and continue on.  I finally finished it this morning, and I have to tell you this is one of the best blogs I’ve come across so far.  So good in fact, that I debated about finishing it off, because I dreaded now to be caught up, and in a situation where I have to wait for her to post something new.

It’s not that there’s a great shock value, or some positively horrific story line (though it is beyond sad what these children go through), but the thing that got my attention, is her desire to encourage others, specifically younger people to try foster parenting.   Then what reeled me in and kept me there, strong belief in advocating for children who otherwise, wouldn’t have a voice, from a place of fierce protection and love.

Rebecca is a hilarious, honest, and outspoken, thirty something, single foster mom, living in New York.  She has fostered three children, “Snap”, “Eaglet”, and “Jacket”.  (Obviously all names have been changed to protect the children’s privacy.)  The first  two children were short fosters, but her last one, Jacket, was for over a year.  She is still in touch with all the bio families of the children she fostered, and acts as a support not only for the children, but for the mothers of the children as well.  She currently is not fostering, though is Godmother to two of her foster children, and still has “Jacket” stay in her home from time to time.  She is no longer taking on foster children, but instead is considering adoption.

I know foster parents don’t want to hear  that they’re amazing or incredible people, but I’m sorry Rebecca (if you read this), but you are.  I admire your determination, devotion and strength.  These children are the ones who are the worst off, but I think there is also something to be said for people like you who give their whole heart to their foster children,  knowing that the object of foster care, is reunification with the bio parents.  I don’t care how much you remind yourself this is the goal, and that this process is all about the child, investing your heart hurts when you have to let go.  All three children were very lucky to have been given to you, and Jacket perhaps the luckiest, because you have been given the opportunity to be with her the longest.   I know you would probably say you were the lucky one, and that’s a part of what makes you so great.

I don’t want to give anything away, because I’m really hoping this will encourage some people to head over to Fosterhood and check it out themselves.  But Rebecca, I just want you to know I’m rooting for permanent reunification of you and Jacket.  It would be wonderful if being with her bio mom was the best thing for her, but sadly, it isn’t.  She is meant to be with you.  I just hope it’s for always and forever.