The Bumpy Road Between Foster and Adoption
By Diane Ponist
The past several days have been out of the norm and emotions are running high. Right now it seems we have to fight for everything, where it’s pretty clear that all we have now wouldn’t be possible without our blood, sweat, and tears. At the end of the day, we are fulfilled. It’s just hard at times to get to that mind frame.
We recently experienced stress with our foster son, “George”, who had told mistruths about our family – lies that threatened the security of our other children. But we knew it was due to pressure coming from his bio home. We understood the stress he was under, and we love him regardless. At any rate, all of our kids are safe with us, and we keep pushing forward because truth will trump all. This bump in the road just made our family bond stronger.
The next hurdle came only days later. “Natalie’s” court date had arrived, and for this we were more than prepared. Natalie’s bio history is such that the court hearing would be a slam dunk. Everyone is on the same page for goal change to adoption.
And we needed something positive this week.
The morning of the hearing, we were stuck on the phone for hours. Our agency caseworker was planning to be there. The child advocate was going. Now we just needed the name of the DHS worker who would attend and we could relax. But, fully aware that Natalie had once slipped through the cracks of DHS (at great threat to her health and safety!), we hounded them. No one could give us an answer. Still, we remained confident that they would come through; since we’ve been involved, DHS has been behaving better.
Our Court session was called at about 2:30pm. Anticipation was high. And then the case worker informed us: DHS didn’t show. The judge said that without DHS present, he couldn’t do a goal change. The one and only thing that stopped our amazing warrior from being adopted within the next few months. The court date was continued for another 90 days…when we will go through this all again.
Natalie isn’t going anywhere; we don’t need goal change to tell us that. She is amazing everyday –my wife makes sure of that. She continues to fight for Natalie’s therapies (that we still have not received), takes her to doctor appointments, pushing the system to do its part.
At the end of the day this difficult life has made us more powerful together. More so than I ever could have imagined. The fight is always worth it, when these children simply look at you, you know the fight is worth it.
It’s true, fostering is completely hard! It is more emotionally exhausting then I ever expected. Obstacles and heartaches seem to come out of nowhere when all we want to do is protect these children. But this all just makes us hug our kids more often, appreciate them regardless of the struggles love them unconditionally.
No fight shall prove too hard for us. We are unbreakable!