Our children are our future and in a lot of ways we are falling short. Many parents are not teaching their children respect, kindness, empathy, how to work together, how to give. In worse cases kids live with neglect and/or abuse.
For more than a decade we have gone out of our comfort zone to help children in need. It has not always been easy. There have been many days we struggled and many days when our hearts were broken. There have also been days of great joy and love. We don't always get things right, we are constantly learning how to deal with different situations. We have developed a support group of other families living with similar situations.
I have learned a lot when working with the parents of our foster children. I have seen parents who obviously loved their children but struggled with addictions that were impossible to escape. I have seen issues within the family that have gone on for generations. I have had parents who really needed mentors to help them parent. I have seen parents work hard to successfully get their children back. I have learned that it isn't my place to judge, my place is to provide for the children while they are in my home. I have also learned that the problem is huge, HUGE.
Our adoption journeys.....
On September of 2003 we travelled to Guatemala to adopt Joselin. Our only international adoption. Joselin was supposed to be 7 years old but was actually 10. This caused a lot of problems and we had some very rough times. However, today we have a great relationship.
After our international adoption we decided that we wanted to do something on a local level. We decided to foster. At the time we weren't looking to adopt but weren't closed to the idea of adopting long term placements either. After 3 years as our foster children Anthony and Larissa got TPR and were adopted in May 2009.
After saying no several times to the placement of a 16 year old, we said yes when told that she was crying and wanted to stay in her high school. Kassi was adopted at the age of 17 December 2012. Kassi is now 20 and is expecting her first child. She lives close to us and we have a good relationship.
Adoptions called and asked us to take placement of two girls who were coming from a disrupted adoptive placement, this would be their 7th placement since coming into care. We said yes. After a long struggle to get DSS to get TPR they were adopted May 2013.
As we were looking to get out of foster care we were asked to take a short term placement of an infant with a heart condition out of the hospital. We said yes and the short term placement ended in adoption November 2015.
Slowly our family grew and we now have 11 children. We did not set out to have 11 children. We just continued to adopt as long as it felt manageable. Thankfully I am able to stay home and that really helps. We are stopping at 11 for numerous reasons. We don't want to put further burden on Tasha if something happens to us, we are not getting any younger, Emma and Michelle have shown us that older children in the home is too disruptive to their healing, Benjamin is highly active so another baby would be too much and finally John has been told that his job is going away in the next few years. We are not sure what we will do at that time. We are looking at our options and don't want to have a child placed in our home who would have to be moved to a different placement if we moved.
As we exit from fostering I am wondering if I should continue with my blog. I initially started it to keep our older children up to date. At some point it changed as I looked at giving a more clearer picture of what foster/adoptive parents will face. I had read many blogs where everything was all rosy and fantastic; I felt that this was leaving people unprepared for the behaviors that could possibly come their way. Emma and Michelle went to such a home before coming to ours and they still deal with the effects of all that rejection at a young age. I hope that before fostering/adopting children, families educate themselves.
Love is not enough to heal a child, I wish it was. However, love is necessary for there to be any healing.