Thursday, May 14, 2009

Love is . . .

Today was a strange day. While I attended a luncheon benefiting foster children and trying to raise awareness of the extreme lack of homes in our area, Andrew's mom was in court trying to speed up his return home.

Oddly enough, I sat at a table with a woman who had her children removed from her home years ago, and through that experience, she got sober and eventually got them back. Then, three foster families were spotlighted during the luncheon. One of the mothers spoke briefly about how she and her husband were working with the biological mother of one of their foster sons, and how the mother was working her program and taking college classes, etc.

Now, this is fantastic. I am really happy for these families and how great they are doing; actually making progress, using the system's help to become stable, loving homes for their children. Yay. Really.

But, I've been fostering for over fifteen years. My experience is that this is a rare phenomenon. In fact, I can't think of a single parent of any of my children over the years that did comply with the department's requirements, any that worked at it and cared enough to try to get their children back.

I freely admit that I am jaded and pre-disposed to doubt the bio-parents and their willingness to change in order to keep their children. So, here I am listening to these two people representing families of origin while Andrew's future is being decided.

I won't go into the details of his case. This isn't the place for it. The truth is that he is her child, and not mine. No matter how I feel about him, no matter how my other kids feel, he belongs to her, and if she can get it together and be his mommy, that is the way it should be.

We have the next four weeks to transition him. It's now my job to help him succeed, and give it the best chance possible. That is how I have to love him now.

Andrew is a four-year-old foster child who's been in my home since early November. He came in crisis, after living in seven different homes. His mom came back last year and began the process of getting her sons back. I'll keep everyone posted as appropriate, and definitely appreciate all prayers.

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