Next Monday our foster kids have a court date. The kids parents have worked their plan. This is unusual for us but we are happy for the kids. We think that reunification is the best outcome, when the parents are able to do what they need to do. Of course, we also believe that there are times when reunification is not in the best interest of the child.
We have supported these parents as soon as we saw that they were actively working their plan. I friended their mom on facebook and kept the lines of communication open. I encouraged her when she was feeling down. We invited them to our home for Christmas. We don't invite all of our foster kids parents to our home.
We are now actively talking about reunification and how to make the best transition for the kids. I have shared with her the changes in the kids. There have been a lot, all of them good. One child was very developmentally behind, he is making great strides and needs to be encouraged to continue on his independence.
I haven't talked much about these kids. I think that it is because we have always felt that this would be a short term placement. We worked hard to get them caught up and meet their needs. We also worked with the parents so that the kids can continue to grow once they get home.
Our house is going to be very quiet next Monday. Having 3 and 5 year old kids in the home sure has made for a lot of extra activity. I think that Larissa will miss the kids the most since she is home all day with them. I know that my homeschooling will get a lot easier!
A lot of people ask how can we love them and then let them go. The thing is, these kids aren't ours. We are their foster parents, we aren't their forever parents. However, we will miss these kids. Hopefully we will keep in contact with their parents and can offer long term support. If not, that is fine as well. We will have done what we signed up for, to give these kids a home to feel loved in while their parents do what they need to do.
However, although we recognize our role as adults I don't think that our kids understand it as well as we do. We have 4 kids in our home who have come from hard places and are dealing with a lot of different issues. I don't think that a constant stream of kids in and out is good for them over the long term. Even though we have told them from the beginning that these kids will go home, they have grown attached. This is why we are updating our adoption homestudy and trying to go the adoption route. We will do one more adoption and then that will complete our family. We are allowed 5 under the age of 18, we have 4. This means that we can adopt one more time.
Adoptions has asked us to stop taking foster placements so that they can find us an adoptive placement. This will be hard! Getting an adoptive placement can take a long time and I know that DSS will be calling us for placements.
Life should be pretty interesting in 2014 at our household.