Mistakes I’ve made as a foster parent
Not wanting the bio parents to succeed – This turned around pretty quickly once you start meeting the parents and realizing they are not all horrible people and just the life circumstances they have been dealt are super crappy
Biting off more than I could chew – Mental breakdown
4 under 4 with two very traumatized little boys
I share this to remind you off knowing your limitations – I didn’t want to be another person to let these boys down but I was not thriving parenting them and it effected my entire family. I mean I guess in the end I am proud of myself that I stuck it out for stability for those boys sake but they were the only case I cried when the judge ruled more time in care over reunification at one point. But it was a huge learning lesson for me and hopefully a lesson I can pass on to you. I felt let down my the agency and workers, the court system and the boys mom numerous times. I begged for part time daycare for the older one but it never got approved because of vaccination reasons and I felt like no one fought for that for the entire 6 months they were with me. One time mom was 17 minutes late for a visit and the cut off was like 15 minutes and she had called and the worker said you are leaving at 15 minutes and she arrived as I was pulling out off the parking lot and she’s bagging on the window begging to see her boys and the worker is motioning me to keep driving and I’m just in the car crying like what am I supposed to do… ugh it was nightmare. In the end I developed a really great relationship with the boys mom and man she loved her boys and they loved her and I was helping in any way I could to get those boys reunified. We did nightly phone calls where she read them a story which was a big commitment on my end trying to get 4 kids 4 and under to bed and then doing that every night but in the end the boys went home and last I heard doing really well, they don’t live in the same province anymore. We have lost contact but they are the boys I think about the most and miss and wonder how they are doing.
Not being enough of an advocate – by the end I got really beat down by the system and I felt like no matter what I do or say it doesn’t matter. I knew it was getting to the time to be done for me. I loved fostering and it was something I saw myself doing for a long time and caring for orphans and vulnerable children and families will forever be my life work in some capacity but I just couldn’t work with the system anymore. I get too invested, to emotionally attached when they are just treated like numbers. I feel like the work I am going to be able to do here will have such an impact and I feel like I need to make an impact in a larger scale. In Canada as broken as it is, there is atleast a system – here there is so much work than can be done – and I believe its members – the body of Christ that will be able to do this work better than a government ever could .
Not supporting renunciation with family as much as with the parents. If it’s going to be someone else why not me – bond over blood. Easy to put on your tunnel vision glasses when you’ve had a child with you since birth and have been everything to them and there has been no extended involvement for a year – bond is more important….
That God loves them more than I ever could and that no matter how torn up I get about what happens there is a sovereign plan for each of their lives and I may be a forever part but I might just be a small part – I love control and I want to know my kids are safe – but that is something that is just not a reality in foster care. Letting go of that control is hard when there is such a strong attachment to these children.