I admit, I have been absent lately. I have been overwhelmed with life in general and not sure what direction to go in. I love fostering. I don't love having my life thrown so out of whack that I lose sight of why I foster. The reason we foster is to allow a child an opportunity to have a safe place to land. Somewhere where they are offered an opportunity to grow and to find security while experiencing life within a family, as crazy as we are. We really try to treat our foster children like our own as much as possible. It is hard when our foster kids have severe behavior issues that make it hard for us to function as a family. Seems like many of our placements that have come from meth homes have been that way.
When we talked to our licensing worker we told her that we were aware that we had other children in the home and our intent is to ensure their safety first. We are not in a position to accept children with severe behavior issues no longer. Yes, children as young as 3, 4 and 5 can come with such behavior issues that they should not be around young children Benjamin's age. They can be violent, act out sexually, destroy property, lie, manipulate, and blame others for their actions. They can make false allegations and put your family in harms way. Get them older and they may even call the police and make allegations. Scary isn't it?
Before we had Benjamin we were willing to accept children with many different issues. However, we do now have Benjamin. We have decided that we will no longer take children 3 and older. Our experiences over the last few months have shown us that even 3 and 4 year olds may have behaviors that are not safe for our son to be around. It is really sad that by that age they have already learned some very destructive behaviors.
Sometimes the cost of fostering is not financial. It can be emotional on so many different levels. Yes, there are the kids that you get attached to, the ones that break your heart when they leave. But there can also be the kids that you are relieved when they leave. When their path of destruction is so severe that you wonder if you are even doing the right thing. Then there may even be a level of guilt because you realize that you can't help all the children who come into your home. Because isn't that what you signed up for, to help the children. Then you learn to truth in the statement that love does not heal everything. You learn that, your close friends may have seen that or they may judge you for having a child moved. Acquaintances may judge you as well, it is amazing how many people will line up to judge you. Funny, those aren't the ones who will stand beside you, they stand back and watch for any sign of failure not understanding what all you have gone through. For me my biggest support has been those foster/adoptive parents who have given it their all and know what you are dealing with firsthand.
This has taken me back to why I started my blog in the first place. To educate those who are considering adopting or fostering. Perhaps even to educate those who might want to support someone else who is going through the process. I don't intend to push people away from fostering because we truly need foster parents right now. It is bad out there, so many parents are choosing not to parent. However, you really need to know what you are stepping into so that you are prepared.
When we started our journey most of the blogs I read were the ones where everything was rosy. That was a time when we were going through some of our greatest challenges. I knew we couldn't be alone. Not all of our experiences have been negative, we have seen some fantastic growth in some of our kids and we are heartbroken that others struggle to heal. In the end I guess we have roses with some thorns thrown. Real life.