Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My struggle (well the one at the forefront of my mind today)

We are Foster parents. For those who have never been a Foster family or never known one, it is hard. We have spent the past 14 months teaching, protecting, correcting, scheduling appointments, completing therapy along side of, attending school functions with, fighting to homeschool, etcetera. Most importantly,we have loved them. It has been a struggle at times (ok who am I kidding, it has been a daily struggle.) These two kids have made all four of us work harder than than we have ever had to work with behavior modification ( aka parenting). These children had little skill when they moved here, after being cast out of another foster home for severe developmental, emotional and behavioral problems. Over the past year we have taught the nearly six year old to use the toilet, not to paint the walls with feces, that screaming has little or no effect on getting your needs met, that we will keep him safe, that there is more to eat than processed food from a box or can, that fruit is good and so are many vegetables, that words like: please, thank you, and I am sorry, are necessary if you want people to listen and enjoy your company. That the Creator of all things loves them, no matter what, and we do too! And the list goes on...

Much of that was also taught to his now nine year old sister. We have celebrated two birthdays, many holidays, increased her reading level, taught her to enjoy books, taught her that love has no conditions and love also sets limits and teaches. We have held her; through tantrums like no other, been spit on, peed on, bit, kicked, hit,things hurled at us, hateful words yelled at us, and through all of that; we have grown to love each other. She has grown to trust that we mean what we say, that we are reliable, trustworthy, and safe. We have made such progress at integrating into a somewhat "normal" family (whatever that is,she smirks to herself. lol). The kids have worked so hard and made such amazing growth. The attachments have been formed. The kids all fightget along like most siblings. All four of them. Our two biological sons and our two foster children. It's funny, I haven't really thought of them as anything other than our children for quite some time. I don't restrict my love for them because I didn't birth them. I don't expect less than the best from all of them. We feel like a family. A real family. The kids have told just about everyone that they want to live with us forever. They like the current setup, living here and have two hours a week to visit with their mom under the watchful eye of a state appointed visitation supervisor.

And then.....

They drop the bomb! Bio mom gets to have unsupervised vista and can take the kids all over down town! Much drama has played out in the past three weeks of unsupervised visits, scary stuff like the little one wondering of not once, not twice, but three times during one visit. The kids have learned things about the bio mom and her relationship to a certain man with whom she is currently living. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. It is just plain scary. Scary for them, scary for us. Just as I begin to wrap my head around this change.....

We are informed that these two kids will be transitioning back home to their birth mom, who, after having her kids removed from her for 16 months has finally found herself a place to live suitable for the kids ( not with the boyfriend). My heart fell into my stomach.

There is a part of me who is happy when a family is reunited. There is a part of me who is scared for the kids and sad for them and worries about how it will affect my family. We will miss them. We will pray for them.We will always love them. We will no longer be able to keep them safe, clothed, bathed, fed, and loved. I trust that God has a plan for them. A plan for my family, too... It's comforting to know that it is out of my hands and in His. The struggle for me is to put those pesky human emotion aside and lay my concerns at the feet of the Lord. My head knows that is exactly what I should do. My heart isn't sure how that is actually accomplished. I guess I will have to keep praying about that one.

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