I've said it before but fostering is one of the hardest things ever. It is definitely a calling. One of the things people ask us all the time is "are you keeping her?". The thing is we don't know. We do this FOR the kids, not for us, not because we're starting a children collection. We personally feel, our calling is to just love these kids AND their parents and help them be together if that is AT ALL a possibility. We have five forever kids and if that is all we get to have on earth forever, we are ok with that.
Our current foster daughter has been with us almost a year now...nearly her entire life. We love her like our own and we will grieve if/when she leaves. We will also rejoice because it is our hope that her biological parents will get things figured out so that they get to parent her. One of the things I want people to realize is that these parents, the ones who lose their children to the system, they aren't bad people. They're broken people. They have issues and baggage that they need to deal with. Sometimes they're able to work through things and get their children back and sometimes they can't. Generally speaking, the LOVE their kids, they're just fighting demons, addiction, mental health, and processing their own abuse.
The cycle CAN be broken, and that is what we pray for when each child comes into our home. We don't root against their parents, we hope to come alongside them, to support them, to love them, to pray for them...it is hard, it is frustrating and sometimes I DO get angry when the answers seem so simple, yet the issues continue, but if you come into foster care to adopt and aren't willing to support reunification, you might be on the wrong path.
Fostering and adoption are two different things, some people are specifically called to adopt and we have walked that road. We are grateful and heartbroken that it was even necessary it is such a conflicting feeling. If you are called to adopt, you should follow that calling, but if a person gets into fostering, solely to adopt, you're bound to be disappointed. Biological parents are given EVERY opportunity and it is my belief that if a foster parent cannot attempt to support reunification, they're doing everyone a disservice. SOMEtimes, it goes on a long time and it is apparent that reunification just cannot and should not happen, but IF it can, if a child can be safe in their biological home, that is where they belong,
Foster parents have to put the child's feelings far above their own, they have to be willing to risk their own hearts for the sake of the child and the biological family. Parents all parent differently and while we don't all agree on parenting decisions, if a child can be safe, nurtured and loved in their original home, that is where they should be.
I guess I say this all to say that I feel like society, Christians especially, are sure to bring awareness to adoption and what a noble calling that is, my position is that while sometimes adoption is necessary, family preservation should be the crux of the orphan crisis. We should be His hands and feet, even and especially to the drug addicted mentally ill birth parent. We need to truly do ALL in our power to try and help families stay together adoption is not a fairy tale, it is necessary sometimes, but it is heartbreaking always, it has lasting effects, my prayer is that the Church is able to do more to step in and help families before their children are taken and come alongside families and help them heal and be the parents they need to be. My hope is that one day there will be no orphan crisis be cause we have become the village and we are coming alongside those who are struggling to help children be safe and loved before fostering or adoption are even needed. These kids are our greatest resource, they are our future and they deserve better.
I shall now step off my soapbox and stop rambling.