Foster Parenting

Rapidly approaching TPR. Distant relatives. Woodwork. Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

Let me start by saying, “Grrr!” (and my handy-dandy foster care lingo primer might be helpful for this post)
 
Squirm’s paternal grandmother sent me an email this weekend that she has “SEVERAL close Relatives who would like to get [Squirm] so that he may Remain in Our Family.I will be letting Everyone know so that they can be checked out by the State Of Florida.” 

Evidently, she followed up by calling the CM’s supervisor today. 
 
Just to give you some background, this is the same woman who:
 
  • just showed up out of nowhere last month wanting visitation & was granted supervised hour/week
  • doesn’t want to deal with orientation at the visitation facility
  • keeps trying to convince SuperDad & I to 
    • either agree to supervise her visits so she doesn’t have to deal with the visitation facility,
    • or just “let me know when you’re going to be at McDonald’s or something – I’ve got a car, I can meet you there, and that awful [CM] doesn’t have to know
  • has something so bad in her background that CPC won’t even do a homestudy 
The CS told her that anyone who’s interested in having a homestudy will have to contact the CS. She’s not going to just take a list of names and start the process on all of them. Grandma then said that the whole family is attending a funeral this week, so it might be a couple of weeks before the relatives contact the CS. Good to know this is a priority….
 
Honestly, I’m not really stressing about it – it’s just irritating. Where the hell were these people when Squirm came into care last June? Or when he was moved to my home 6 months ago? *Nowhere* The CM and CS have asked bio-dad repeatedly about family – he just keeps saying there isn’t anybody who can pass a homestudy. And, seriously? Bio-dad has surrendered his rights on *5* children before Squirm!!! As far as anyone knows – NONE of those kids were placed with his family.
 
Anyway… I don’t know. I’m very much in a “whatever is supposed to happen, will” kinda mindset this week today right this minute. It probably has more than a little to do with Lady Bug’s case – I was dead-set against reunification, but prayed for the best outcome for her – and I think just maybe we got it.
 
It’s entirely possible that the SEVERAL close Relatives will never contact the CS. I’ve seen lots of instances where people say they want a child, but when it comes time to deal with the system, they suddenly have better things to do. 
 
Plus, I have some faith in Squirm’s judge. I don’t think he’ll appreciate that none of the family said a peep before now – or about any of the other kids. And I think he’ll remember that either SuperDad or I or both of us have been to every single hearing since Squirm came to us – even the one’s we didn’t have to go to, or the one’s that were continued to later in the afternoon and we were told we didn’t have to stick around for.
 
So I’m going to try not to worry about it tonight – I’m going to pray on it and ask my friends to pray on it (yes, that includes you), and trust that it’s all part of the grander plan. And whatever is supposed to happen, will. 

FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions – How can you do it?

Google “questions about foster parenting” and you’ll get lots of official pages from child welfare agencies, state governments and foster/adopt charities (and even a quiz about whether you’re ready to be a foster or adoptive parent), but I haven’t found any “FAQs” that answer the questions that people ask foster parents everyday.

So I’m starting my own!  (Yay!) And you’re going to help! (I hope)

 
FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions 
 

So we’ll start with a tricky one that SuperDad and I hear almost daily. It may seem simple, but it’s actually pretty complicated and every foster parent has a different long version. Here’s my short version:

QHow can you do it?

 A: How can I not?


AA
(Alternate Answer): If not me, who?


I Refuse 
~ Josh Wilson
 
Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright, when I know they’re not
 
This world needs God, but it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on, like nothing’s wrong
 
But I refuse
 
(Chorus)
‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse
To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move
But I refuse
 
I can hear the least of these crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
 
So, if You say move, it’s time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are
 
(Chorus)
 
To stand and watch the weary and lost cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back and try and act like all is well
 
I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse
 
(Chorus)
 
I refuse
I refuse

 
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EFP (Eavesdrop on Foster Parents): Overheard on the Foster Parent Support Board

“Wow, I love your mini van.”

“Get your sword & hit him back.”

“Bend over. Let me sniff your butt.”

Every parent (and mommy blog) talks about the things we say as parents that we never thought we would – but that now make perfect sense.

But the world of foster parenting introduces a whole new dimension of ridiculous. I’ve decided to start compiling the gems I hear/read in foster parent groups, court hearings, team meetings, etc.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Overheard on the Foster Parent Support Board:

If birth mom shows up for a meth hair test with freshly bleached hair – will that affect the results? What if she is clean-shaven *everywhere* else?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I know you’ve got some doozies to share. Give ’em to me in the comments!

This foster mom’s prayer

Lord, you know the life you have planned for my ducklings. Your word says its to be a good life. If they will not have a good life with their birth parents, please leave them with me. But if it will be good, please give me the grace, wisdom and strength to get out of the way. If the birth parents are doing or hiding anything that should change the outcome, please allow that to be revealed sooner, rather than later.

Please watch over her, after I’m not able to. Please comfort her and don’t let her feel abandoned. Please help her forget that she was ever in foster care. 
 
Lord, if it is your will for her to go back to them, please help me find peace and acceptance and healing. Grant me the ability to love the next baby with my whole heart, as though it won’t be broken again. Help me to guard against becoming jaded. Help me to remember that just as you were a fisher of men, I must be a savior of starfish.
 
I know that you love my ducklings at least as much as I do. Please help me to trust that you know what you’re doing.