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WOW!!! I just found your podcast!!! I feel like I just lived through the first year of my foster care experience! My husband and I decided to foster in 2005 and went through our state foster care training in Jan. of 2006. I am also a Masters Level Social Worker and worked for a private agency in medically fragile foster care. When we decided to foster we did not have any children of our own, which is why we decided to foster at that time. We totally expected, and were more than willing to take the raging (and rightly so) 8 year old, sexually abused child that would put us to the ultimate test. We knew once we had our own children, we could not take this sort of child into our homes so we got certified in the state of Tennessee and waited. To make a VERY long story short, it took quite a LONG time to get a referral, and we were also trying to get pregnant. We were willing to accept whatever God put our way. Finally, On Sept. 8, 2006 we got our first referral. It was for a 14 year old mom and het 5 month old baby girl. We agreed that we could not take a teenager because my husband travels a lot for work, BUT, when I got that call something in my heart told me to say YES! That evening C and L showed up on our doorstep and our lives changed forever. C (the mom), ran away 3 weeks after she was with us, leaving L behind. 2 WHOLE years later, we adopted L. We so UNDERSTAND the emoinal and confusing struggle you are went (and may still be going through… UPDATE PLEASE 🙂 We became foster parents to be TEMPORARY parents to a child who NEEDS a loving, and caring set of parents and on and on… and we say… Oh, we can do that for a while….Bring it on. And We support reunification bc we believe that CHILDREN belong with THEIR PARENTS! And then time passes and more time passes and they tell us to love this child as your own, AND WE DO and then we see what they have with us and what they can become… and then we feel like shit for thinking that way… and then we get glimpses of what the life they would have if they left us and then you feel like shit again and all you want to do is PROTECT this baby that they tell you to love as your own! It’s a constant see-saw of emotions. There is no right way to feel. You feel selfish if you want him with you, and you feel horrible if you don’t advocate for the very best for him! He’s you’re child… You would do that for your other children!!! Since that early fall day in 2006 we have adopted L…We adopted her on May 19, 2008! That 2 years was the very worst innner-soul hell we have ever lived. I don’t know where you are at this point. And I am a total stranger to you… But the best advice I can give.. Is to GIVE IN TO YOUR HEART! At some point… That baby boy’s rights SHOULD and NEED to take priority over their forever second-chance relatives! We all came in this together! We WANT and PRAY for our birth families to do well and suceed, but our hearts shift… and I want you to know that that is OK. ADVOCATE for that baby… even if you start to piss the Social Workers and others off… That baby NEEDS YOU! That is clear. We have had several placements and while I have loved all of them, and hope and pray I made a small difference, God made it very clear that L was meant to be ours. She is a mini ME which is SCARY! – So sorry to blow up your comments but I felt EVERY emotion running back thorugh me as I listened to your podcast today. Our sweet L is now in first grade! She just lost her 3rd tooth last night and we would DIE for her! You may think I am a total nut job, but we would be HAPPY to talk to you…I promise we are normal. 🙂 – even if all of the above sounds like madness. Haha. I’ve never left a random number on someone’s blog before, but I get it and I do believe that God is random and may have connected us. I WISH I would have someone with the knowledge we have now when we were working our way through the muddle. If we can help… my cell phone is 615-243-6333. My FB page is private for obvious foster care reasons, but send me a friend request and we can chat that way…..http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/katie.k.taylor.3 . And if I’m stepping way beyond my boundaies here… I apologize. Praying for all of you… especially, baby Leeland!
Sorry for the ramble… you got my heart beating… We need to foster again…
Thanks so much for writing Katie. We really appreciate your transparency in discussing the conflicting emotions you went through and what we are going through now. It’s encouraging to know we are not alone in feeling that way. We’re discussing our next episode So hopefully we’ll be pulling that together in the next week or so. Thanks for your encouragement!
OK, and just so you know we are not total nutcases… I would love for you to visit our first blog that goes though the hell we went through. It’s kind of confusing bc before we met L, we thought we would adopt from China. This blog is on Email me and I will give you the username and password to it. But I apologize up front… its raw foster parent emotion. It’s hard for me to go back and read. Happy Weekend!
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