This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is January 2009.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.
January 2009. This was it! It was our final court date for termination of rights for the baby. All of the other children were free for adoption. This was our last big hurdle to go over. It would all be down-hill from this point on.
The hearing went off without a hitch. No surprises. There is always that fear of someone from the family popping up at the last minute. In our case, it was very unlikely, but anything is possible. But there were no surprises. He was free to be adopted. Now we just had to wait the mandatory 90 days.
Over the next few months we had appointments that had to be completed. For the older four children, updated psychologicals had to be done. All five children had to have physicals. We had to go to the CPS office to view the complete file on each child. That was a bit overwhelming to say the least!
For all of the children, we knew the full history on each case. Sitting down and reading the actual case file, from beginning to end, all the details outlined, still was more overwhelming than I ever imagined. At one point, I closed a binder without going any further. It was just too much! No, I never once had a thought that I could not handle accepting these children as mine, no matter the circumstances. I could not handle seeing in writing all that had been said about them- by other foster parents. It tore my heart to pieces to read a letter from a foster parent demanding that my children be removed from their home because they are “evil”. How in the world can someone say this about a child? Yes, I experienced the tantrums. Yes, I experienced the behavioral issues. Yes, I experienced the lack of boundaries. But I knew that these children just wanted to be loved and accepted.
Yes, it has all worked out, because they were supposed to be our children. If they had not been passed from home to home to home, they may not have ever made it to our home. What appalls me is that an adult cannot see how a child is crying out for love. I will not tell you it has always been easy dealing with the issues of any of our children. Ranging from the drug addicted withdrawal tremors of the baby to mistreatment of our pets to lying and manipulation to defiance- these are just a few of the issues we have had to face with our children- and continue to face on a daily basis. No, it has not been easy. But my question is this: is there anything in life that is truly easy? Anything worth having is worth fighting for. Anything in life comes with its own set of challenges. This is a child. This system is full of children who need someone to stand up for them and what is best for them. This is not just an old shirt to be thrown out with the trash.
We were finally able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. It has been one of the longest, darkest, most painful tunnels in my journey of life. But we were finally able to see the end. I knew that the adoption would bring an entirely new set of challenges. But that is what life is all about- challenges, and the way you face them and handle them.
I knew that my personal battle was coming to an end with the Foster Care System, but I also knew that the war was not over. There are a lot of changes that need to be made in this system. I knew that I would be ready to fight for all the countless, faceless children that are caught up in this vicious, ugly, cycle.
But I had to complete our battle. Then I wanted some time to bask in the joy of true motherhood. I knew there would be things I had to get taken care of, and I needed some rest. But I knew I had a mission. I had to continue to fight for the rights of Foster Children who are still in the system.
The Purpose Of This Series: Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?
The next chapter in this series: Forever Family!
The previous chapter in this series: My Children Are Threatened