Monday, March 10, 2008

Loving and Letting go

I have been trying to construct this blog for two days, I don't know how many drafts I have rejected already, but I can't get this topic out, yet I desperately need to. Given our recent upheaval in our foster care life the subject is very tender. To make it that much harder my good friend just let her foster baby go into a wonderful adoptive home. Both of us are in the dumps emotionally and sharing misery doesn't seem to be the answer.

Going into a foster care placement there is the understanding that by the very definition of foster care this is a temporary placement. Unless one is taking the foster to adopt route it is imperative to believe that the child will be returning home and act accordingly. Nonetheless we take these children into our hearts and our homes and treat them the same as if they will be with us forever. There are warnings about not loving too much, about not getting too attached, but as a Mom I can not keep myself emotionally uninvolved with any one of my children no matter how long or short their stay. And some of them, due to circumstance, personality or fate, grab your heart right back and so it hurts and feels as though your heart is being ripped to shreds when it is time to let them go.

I am not sure how to resolve this. I cannot be the mother I want to be to these children if I cannot open my heart to them, but opening my heart makes me very vulnerable. Although we have adopted some of our foster children, I feel my true calling is to be a foster parent and to work to mentor the birth families and really try for reunification. We have had many wonderful successes in this endeavor over the years and I will share in another post sometime. My husband and I truly enjoy mentoring these families, many of whom have not a clue about how to parent or be a family. And we stay in touch with many of our placements long after their return home.

Maybe I am just burnt out, maybe we need a little break, maybe I am tired from struggling with the clueless state social workers we had assigned to this last case, but really I just want my dancing baby girl back. After almost 3 years we had bonded to an incredible degree and having her taken out of my home was and has been an emotional train wreck for me and my family. It hasn't been a picnic for dancing baby girl either.

This has not been the most coherent post and it probably won't be the last on this subject. When I can relate the story with less emotionality I will give some details, suffice it to say I am sad and I am not sure how to get un-sad.

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