Relationships with the biological parents.....do you have them? With Joselin it was simple, we met her mom in Guatemala and were able to get pictures. After arriving home we had some very specific issues related to the biological mom and tried to find her, she was nowhere to be found. We did find Joselin's younger brother. We didn't even know that he existed until we got Joselin home. They were taken to different orphanages (by their mother) so there was no way that they would be adopted together. It is sad because we had approval for two kids and we would have kept a sibling group together. Her brother was adopted by another American family and we have been able to swap pictures. The loss of that younger brother still hurts Joselin today.
With Anthony and Larissa it is a little more complicated. They have two brothers (different dads) who were never placed with them while in foster care. One we see on a regular basis and I even attended his adoption. The other is quite a bit older. We have requested a visit but the SW has not gotten back to me. I left a message last week and maybe I will leave another one this week.
Biological parents.....well, I haven't seen the mom in a while. The dad I see just about every time I go to the next town over. He hangs out in the park and carves cane to sell. Today I drove past the park and I saw he was there. I thought that it would be nice to take him some pictures. Later in the day I left all the kids at home and went to the park with some pictures.
When he saw me he knew who I was. He stood up to greet me. Wow, those genetics. Genetically those two are his kids, they are so similar. I had forgotten how tall he was, well over 6 feet tall. He seemed pleased to see me. He was really excited to get pictures. He really loved the ballet picture of Larissa. He said she was so beautiful.
Then he cried some more.
We talked. He said that he knew that we were taking good care of the kids. He knew that they had a chance to be successful in life. He thanked me for being their mom. He told me to thank my husband.
He cried some more.
Did I do the right thing?
It is so sad. I know that the reason he is not raising his children is because of mental illness. On top of that there was no family support. In the three years those kids were our foster children they never had a single visit by any extended family at all. Not a single person came forward to see them.
I pray that my children never go without family support. That they learn to manage and live with their mental illnesses so that they can enjoy life to the fullest as productive members of society. That they are never left alone in a park to cry over lost children.