As any foster/adoptive parent can tell you, the largest hurdle is permanency. Is the child going home? Are the parents’ rights being terminated? When you are finally told the end is in sight and we really know what is going to happen, the world is set back on its axis. The whole time up to that point is hectic and crazy and you spend (okay maybe it’s just me) all your time wondering if they’re telling you everything, and over analyzing everything everyone says to you.
So you would think the day that the termination was finalized, we would be relieved. However, for us that day came and went with little fanfare. We were embroiled in something bigger and it felt like the whole world was against us.
Perhaps a little background would help. I will be adding new posts regarding the adventures we’ve gone through with this, and other placements, over the next few weeks, or months, but for now I will give you a little bit about our current situation.
In July of 2015 we were placed with a 2 ½-year-old boy. We’ll call him Wheels because he never stops moving and he reminds me of that Hot Wheels commercial where the guy talks really fast, non-stop. That’s Wheels. He’s always on the go, and he never shuts up. His mother had quite the DHHS history, and had lost 4 children prior to Hot Wheels. Why they had permitted her to keep him as long as they did, I will never understand.
When they brought him to the house, he was coming from an overnight stay in the hospital after ingesting morphine his mother had dropped on the floor. He was wearing a pair of blue shorts and an overlarge orange t-shirt and he was wearing a pair of plastic sandals. The only thing he had with him was two baby blankets and a battered stuffed Elmo.
As I previously mentioned, Wheels was the youngest of 5 children, the previous 4 having been removed and placed in a variety of situations. The child closest to Wheels in age, had been removed by DHHS and had been adopted shortly after Wheels was born. Therefore, the two brothers had no idea the other existed. So when Wheels was brought into care, as is customary, the adoptive mother of the older brother was asked if she was willing to take Wheels too. She declined, unwilling to deal with the children’s’ unstable parents. She was also asked if she wanted to have sibling visits between the brothers. She stated that because her son didn’t even know Wheels existed, she saw no benefit to her child in having visits.
Those bits are important to remember as we proceed, as the adoptive mother I just described, is the current issue in which we are now embroiled. A year after Wheels came into care, and when it had become very clear that reunification was not going to be possible, she popped back into the picture and decided she wanted to adopt him.
So there you have it. Even when it’s over…it may not be over.
Annaleece Merrill
Great post! I think you have a lot of great points. Foster parenting is so hard.
Oh Mini Mom, I'm glad you're sharing your story here, too. I think you have so much that others can learn from as you deal with this tricky situation.