I wrote this many months ago but never published it. To be honest I don’t really know why I’m publishing it. This is my take on well over a half decade of trying to have children which ultimately culminated in my adoption of three children whom I love.
Maybe it’s cathartic (the emotional definition, not the medical definition). It was and still is the most difficult thing I have ever been through.
These are some things that I’ve wanted to say for a long while. I hope that by sharing these thoughts you might walk away changed, if only a little. Sometimes polish is needed and sometimes rawness is needed.
This post has currents upon under-currents which you probably will not understand.
So bear that in mind before sounding off in the comments section.
============================================= Normally I write about tech stuff. (I also apologize for the lack of rigid structure in the writing. My wife and I are watching the TV show Once Upon A Time on Netflix.
I wouldn’t call it great, but it serves as entertainment when my mind has crapped out at the end of a hard day of typing.
The premise is that some evil queen in Storybookland curses the whole place and all of the characters end up in Maine not remembering who they are.
Snow White and Prince Charming, whose real name is James, apparently, hide their new baby in an enchanted tree where it is protected from the effects of the curse.
The down side is that the baby is transported to the same area and appears on the side of a road where someone picks her up and she is placed into foster care where she is bumped around from home to home until she ages out of the system and becomes a bounty hunter. Evil foster parents use the children to get state money to support their gambling habits or worse.
The show has spent some time throwing poo at the foster care system. What I would like to talk about in this post is what the foster system is like from the perspective of the foster parent. We have all heard horror stories about children in the foster care system. I have also read stories about foster parents who have locked kids in refrigerators, closets, bathrooms or other places for extended periods of time after which some child is injured or worse.
Before I was a foster parent this stuff didn’t really bother me. I would not in any way justify the actions that lead to harm for the children, but I will tell you quite truthfully, almost every foster parent, save for the most saintly, has had to push aside rash thoughts for the sake of trying to get a moment’s sanity.
A very slim number of people actually do the rash things that we hear about, but every foster parent has had the moment when the temptation for rashness would have liked to take over. Many foster parents already have parenting experience, though many, such as my wife and I did not.
Yes, I know that regular parenting has that too but for those who are doing foster care the levels of stress, regulation and frustration are much higher than with regular parenting. I was quite adept at getting children riled up before sending them home with their parents with the special needs ministry my (old) church has, but had no real parenting experience. well they put up with me because I gave them time away from their children to have a date night. When you first sign up to be a foster parent you go through a bureaucratic anal probe the likes of which is only legal for the state to do.