Friday, August 19, 2011

this is a comment i submitted on the topic of adopting through foster care for parenting magazine

it all started just about four years ago. my husband and i had completed the nine weeks of training, countless pages of paperwork, background checks, fingerprints, and a completed home study which included a youthful picture of the two of us at the age of 25.
we started our journey with the intention of just fostering and accepted our first placement two months later. to keep this post from dragging on forever, i’ll just say this placement was as precious as a two year old can be, and his mother did everything she was asked of. his stay at our home lasted 14 months and then he returned home to
his mother. we formed a special bond with his mother and after 3 years he still comes over to visit. it was a win win for everyone involved,yet sadly at the same time not the norm for other children in foster care.
our next placement, was a drug addicted newborn straight from the hospital. his stay was short lived, since he ended up actually having a relative whom was a licensed provider. i was sad to see him go, however in his situation he was lucky to have a relative come forward in the beginning.
our third and FINAL placement joined our home on august 12 2007. he was a nine month old baby boy, taken away from birth mom due to dangerous and unhealthy living conditions. we thought this would be a short stay. you know like ” maybe they can just clean the house and make some repairs”. well to say the least we were so naive.
from day one his birth mother showed no attempt in completing any of the services that were ordered. visits were suppose to be weekly but only happened on an average of once per month. the longer a parent takes to complete services, the longer the whole process takes.
as the days pass our bonds with the child grew stronger and stronger. days turn in to weeks, weeks turn in to months and before we knew it a complete year had snuck by.
the judge okayed the termination of parental rights process to begin and by this time we the foster parents had formed a pretty good relationship with the birth mother and grandmother. we expressed our interest in adoption and several months later the birth mother
decided that she would consent and said she was all for us adopting her son. sounds to cut and dry,”to good to be true”, your exactly right. after the child being in our care for almost 17 months, i received a phone call that flipped my dream world upside down. out of no where a great great aunt had decided that she wanted to adopt him. this same individual admitted she was completely aware that he was in foster care, but she thought her niece had been doing what needed to be done for his return. this same individual had never entertained the idea of visiting her nephew while in foster care and more importantly failed to offer any assistance or support for the mother through the whole process. this same individual as far as i’m concerned was a complete stranger to this child. children’s division completed her home study and even allowed her weekly supervised visits, which were at best only tolerable for the child.
as time went on this case went onto an adoption staffing. hooray my husband and i were chosen as the preferred family for his adoption and we could now move forward and file a petition with the court. we were excited and thought their was finally a light at the end of our tunnel. just as we started to let our guards down a bit, we discovered the relative also had filed a petition for adoption. know instead of us going to court for a happy adoption day we were now faced with a trial. my husband and i both had to testify on the stand, and it was very lengthy and detailed. at the end the judge said she would rule within 2 weeks. the days passing were long and stressful.
by the grace of god we were chosen as the forever family. the judge had ruled in our favor and seeing the name change on the court papers, and that i was listed as his mother on his new birth certificate was amazing. finally we had a new beginning to the rest of our lives. almost 26 months had passed from the day he entered foster care to the day our adoption was completed. were most days emotionally miserable at that time yes, would i do it all over again? Absolutely

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