We had worked with the system, in foster care and adoption, for almost 10 years and were beyond burnt out. Our county had some very bad people at the top making all of the major decisions concerning children's lives, it was an emotional roller-coaster. Tim and I both said we would NEVER go back. Never go back to...the cases that seemed to go on forever, bringing more and more emotional harm to a child. To the outrageous decisions of those in authority. To the children sent back home, time and time again, just to see the same children enter into foster care, over and over again. Every time they came back into care, they were even more lost and damaged. Don't get me wrong. There was so much good we saw as well. There were several good cases with great outcomes and we did enjoy the children but over all, we could not go thru one more case or bare hearing the other foster parents share of theirs. It was all just to hard to hear and know about anymore.
There is no good way to handle abuse and neglect of a child. We live in such a wicked, sinful, fallen world. The system that was created to work and protect children does not always function properly. The workers are so over worked and under funded. The children so broken. The families...their stories so horrible. I can not grasp substance abuse and addiction, as by the grace of God, I have never had to live with it in my life. All I can say is, it must be horrible. DFCS does not just take in children for no reason. These children are from the hardest of places. The most deplorable of circumstances, in which intervention had to take place. The parents of these children, have a mountain of obstacles to overcome, to get their children back. When the system works...when the parents grab the help given and overcome addiction, learn to parent and maintain a stable environment, it is a happy and wonderful thing to see. But... Foster care is messy and when a parent can not or does not want to change or receive the help offered...a case finely comes to termination...it is a sad thing. Sad for the children to never be with the parents God placed them with. I feel sad for the biological parents. I think of my children that we have adopted. I think of their parents often. I know they made poor choices. I know most of them were terribly addicted to something that had a grip they could not over come. I think of them and pray for them. For salvation. I think of them on my children's birthdays, mothers day, fathers day, and all the holidays. I had met most of the biological parents of my adopted children and once in a while I will see their parents in my children...a laugh...a glance, a smile.
I struggled with who I was when we retired in 2006. We had been foster parents for almost a decade and I had not lead a very "normal" life in a long time. By 2010 I seriously could not shake the desire to have more children. I have always struggled with what my husband calls "babyitis". Off and on over the years I would have these very strong maternal emotions kick in. Usually, if I would pray and suppress them for a while, they would diminish and go away for a season. I began to pray fervently about adoption again. By 2012 I was asking Tim to please join me in prayer about it. To ask God if we were supposed to just care for the children we adopted and had now...as most of those children will spend the rest of their lives in our care. Or were we supposed to forgo the retirement type years, adopt, and raise another child or children. Tim is very analytical. He is a guy so was looking at budget, housing space, longevity of our lives. I am a jump in kind of girl and we will figure it all out as we go along. I trust God. I have went thru many hard things in my life, to have this complete trust in Him. He has proved Himself time and time again to be faithful. So I believe with all my heart if God calls us to raise a child, He will not only provide but have a plan for that child's life. What we decided was to do foster care again. We prayed that God would bring to us the children that would fit well into our home and that He wanted to be with us. If any of these children had termination of parental rights happen, while in our care...we would know we were to adopt them.
We as a family, of course have such mixed emotions. At this point it would be hard to imagine life without them here in our home. We LOVE these two little boys. They are very bonded to and love us. They call Tim and I, mom and dad and even though they have had some very intense behaviors, they have come so far and try to please us. Even when my heart does not want to root for the parent to get them back...in these cases...I pray for them and do. I pray for them to succeed, even though I know it would cause me pain if they go, because I am a parent and fall short at times. I would never want anyone praying for me to fail at this very important job of raising children. How could I hope their biological mom fails. Sadly and with huge repercussions she has. Repercussions that will forever change all of our lives. She had chance after chance. She had complete support and help, in every possible area offered to to her, from as many sources that could be found to help her...for free... But time is now up, with not one thing on her case plan ever even started. Not one. She is still addicted to drugs and will not except the helping hand offered her. We recently found out she is also with child again. What mixed emotions I have. I could just cry for joy that the boys will have stability and a life with us. We love them. I also feel like crying for the deep sorrow in my heart for their mom. A family is about to die. Their family. These last few visits they will all have together. They will not see her again till 18 and then only if they wish to see her.
The boys came back from a visit. I was getting "B" ready for supper. I put him in his high chair and I noticed he had his tiny hand clenched tight. I unfolded his little hand and in it was a tiny little candy heart. One of those made from pressed sugar. He must have had it in his hand just like that over an hour. It was melting apart and sticky from his moist little hand. He didn't want to let it go so I could put a spoon in his hand to eat. These were my thoughts...Did mom just give them candy and he was saving this one? Did she press this little heart in his hand and tell him to remember she loved him? Just tears and tears as I washed it from his hand. Foster care and adoption is so very sad at times...