Chronicles of a Foster Family: Slow and Hard

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July 3, 2014 by greenhouse04

The foster machine chugs on. And right now I feel as though we’re all caught in the cogs.

It was over two months ago that paternity was proven and M’s visits with his dad were increased. Two months, and no new developments. Writing the words “two months” makes me realize that it hasn’t been that long, especially in the foster world, but this transition back to Dad seems to be dragging on forever.

Thankfully, though, things with Dad are still going well. He’s nearly completed his case tasks, and each week he proves that he is committed to parenting his son. It’ll be hard for him – a single dad, working, and caring for a child – and I feel sad that going home to Dad will mean continued instability for Baby M. as he’s transferred between daycare and babysitters while Dad works.

And even though I know in my mind that Baby M. will be leaving us someday, my heart continues to get more attached to him. He’s in such a cute stage! He rolls everywhere, is just beginning to sit by himself, and has such sweet, wide-eyed expressions and such soft, kiss-able cheeks.

He goes to Dad two or three nights a week now, depending on Dad’s work schedule. He was there last weekend, and when Dad brought him back on Sunday he told us he had to work his regular days off this week and wouldn’t be able to see M. again until next Monday. I never like changes in visits, as I have to re-orient my expectations for the week, but it didn’t take long for me to be glad I’d have my little boy for eight days in a row.

But yesterday Dad called and said he had gotten the days off after all, and would like M. from today until Friday. I was pretty disappointed.

One of the hard parts about this transition phase is that my emotions about it all seem to change as often as Baby M’s caregivers change. One week I’m fine with M. going to his Dad’s, and even a little glad to be down to two kids again; the next week (like this one) I feel tears threatening to fall every time I think of the little guy. The hardest part is worrying about how he’s handling all of it. Thankfully, he seems to be bonding with his Dad, and he’s such an easy-going baby, but I still worry that this moving back and forth is hard on him. This is why the past two months have seemed so long, and why I’d like this transition to hurry-up and be over.

Another difficulty lately has been our foster workers. Baby M. is supposed to have a team of two social workers – the Case Manager and the Family Support Worker. The support worker quit in early June, and has yet to be replaced; this means the case manager has been over worked. I try to be understanding of his busy-ness, but in my opinion he’s dropping the ball a little with M’s case. He never checks up on Dad during M’s visits with him, and last week he never checked up on Mom during her two-hour visit! He doesn’t seem to put much thought or effort in to M’s case, but simply goes along with my suggestions regarding Dad’s visits.

Our foster support worker also quit earlier in June, then her supervisor quit last week. They haven’t been replaced yet, either, so if I have questions or concerns I have to contact someone I’ve never met, who is working out of a completely different office in a different town, and who is unfamiliar with Baby M. and his social worker. I feel completely unsupported right now, like I’m flapping in the winds of the foster system on my own.

But I know that I’m never on my own in all this. God is with me, and he’s with Baby M, and he’s already in all of our futures.

Here’s the lyrics to a song that has spoken to me as I slowly say goodbye to Baby M, called “I Give You to His Heart,” sung by Alison Krauss. It’s about Moses’ mother Jochebed, as she says goodbye to her baby in order to save his life.

The wind is blowing down the quiet river,
A shining road that carries you alone.
Baby boy my love will last forever.
If you’re to live, I must give you up to God.

I know our God will guide, protect and keep you.
Teach you faith and hold you by the heart.
Though your mother’s heart is broken by your leaving,
Her Father knows just who he is and who you are.

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way,
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay.
But you in God’s loving plan might be the missing part.
You must live.
So I give you to his heart.

The wind is blowing down the silent river,
A shining road that leaves me all alone.
A life for you’s worth losing you forever.
Some day we’ll stand in God’s fair land, forever home.

I wish that life wasn’t always ending up this way,
With Heaven’s love at stake and hell to pay.
But you in God’s loving plan might be the missing part.
You must live.
So I give you to his heart.

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One thought on “Chronicles of a Foster Family: Slow and Hard

  1. Instant Mama says:

    It’s so hard. Beautiful song blessings as you walk this road

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