By Diane Ponist
When becoming a foster parent the mindset you need to have is that these kids might be reunified with their families. I have said many times, the wall has to go up, the preparation needs to be within yourself. As time goes on, a lot of cases do end up changing the goal to adoption. The fact of the matter is most children do end up either staying in the system or are lucky enough to get adopted. At least that’s what we have seen and heard in our area.
For those that are considering adoption, it’s a major roller coaster of emotions. We have 3 children going to adoption and it has not been easy by any means. I’m not talking about the kids or even the bios, most frustration comes from the case workers and judges. The people that you feel should be most understanding, you’re on the same team, right?
Our baby turned two in October and has been a foster child since a she was a few months old. The goal was changed to adoption about 9 months ago, although TPR (termination of rights) has not occurred yet. Unfortunately, every single time this court date comes up, it gets continued. It had little to do with the bios, they are simply not around. It’s the case workers, our DHS worker has been on FLMA.
As sympathetic as we are for the worker, it’s concerning that someone else was not able to fill in. Yes, another worker had come out and completed the home visit and the regular checkups were getting done. But last week, again we were excited that TPR was going to be finalized. The supervisor that went to court, asked for another continuance. The frustrating part was knowing how long this has been drug through the mud. She lied to us, as if we were new to what goes on. She told us the judge didn’t show up so it was continued, but in reality she just didn’t want to testify for the absent case worker.
We learned that months ago “Natalie’s” TPR (Termination of Parental Rights)was denied because all of the evidence for termination was before the incarceration of the bios. The judge in this case has sympathy for incarcerated parents it seems. The judge agreed with the bios attorney that yes all the abuse and neglect is why they were incarcerated but they found God and therapy in prison since that has happened. It was said that they could of changed during that time in prison. We as foster parents never considered that side of things.
Although, now things are back to TPR only because of the disabilities and handicaps that came from the endured abuse. The siblings are in medical homes that are able to care for their special needs that simply the bios cannot handle. So here, we originally thought TPR would be from what had occurred, then it turns out it was because of the condition Natalie and her brother are in now. The fact of how the siblings became this way or why the bios were incarcerated is irrelevant.
Most foster parents will agree that the frustration comes out of the lack of control we have. The limited information or misinformation is what sets us to coast on the emotional high and lows. You are formed to have a certain mindset for what ever reason, create an opinion, to learn you never had all sides to begin with. In some ways you feel that sometimes you don’t want to know, it’s better just not thinking about it. Then other times you wonder why you were prepared for something that really isn’t so. Fortunately for us, as frustrating as it gets, it still is worth every second of finding the patience needed for these children.
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Originally published on The Seattle Lesbian
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