A scary and lonely journey
I beg for people to "hear" our story, as no one seems to be listening or care.
I am a foster mom and received a call one spring afternoon about a new placement. I quickly hung up the phone and headed straight to the hospital. I didn't know that day I was going to meet my daughter. She was just a precious babe who needed me. She was so tiny and so fragile; struggling with drug withdrawal and needed to be transported to a bigger facility that could handle her care. She spent the next month there and I was right by her side. She loved to be gently rocked and was a fighter from the beginning. She was simply beautiful.
Once home she had a few visits with her parents and then they stopped coming. Days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. This little girl overcame so much in her first two years of life and was growing into a one of a kind personality. I loved this precious girl and would have done anything to help her life keep moving forward.
Approaching my daughter’s second birthday, the parents returned and wanted visits back. I couldn't believe the system allows children to be treated like books on a shelf waiting to be loaned out. This was an extremely difficult time for our household. Our sweet spunky girl changed. She was forced to visit her biological parents and felt lost and unsafe. I kept a smile for her but that first visit changed everything.
The little girl we had raised for the last 2 years became angry. She wouldn't sleep and became aggressive. It broke my heart to watch her change. I heard her cries, yet couldn't do anything. I was her mommy. I clothed her, fed her and comforted her. We were her connection to life and that's all she knew. Her biological parents were strangers to her and she was terribly confused.
The next 2 years would consist of a visit then no shows for months and then another visit and no shows etc. Our life, this beautiful girl’s life, became a roller coaster. The trust she had grown to know was now unstable. She didn't have rights as "she was too young". I didn't have any rights as I was “just a foster mom".
Riding the foster system is scary and very alone. You feel as though you are in a very dark place and you never know if tomorrow is the last as a family. There were so many court dates that never amounted to anything. 2 trials came and went. Then at age 4, she became a crown ward. Nearly 2 years later at almost 6 years old she still has no permanency. We still wait for the adoption to be finalized.
Is she worth the heartache the sleepless nights, the never knowing; of course she is. This little girl is my baby and I will always continue by her side. Do we love like a family? Yes! The final paper will not change what our hearts feel and know. It will simply bring closure and comfort. It will also make it legal so after all these years, I can answer, “yes I am the mom”. We can stop answering to workers and filling out constant paper work. We can just be a "normal family".
I have no idea when our adoption will finally come. Would I ever endure this again and adopt through foster care? No. I could never relive what we have been living. Living in the moment is one thing, but living in fear is indescribable! Adoption is definitely is not for the weak - but love will carry us on.