Tag Archive | adoption

Opperation Adoption—Foster Parent Failure…

Heart and soul cry  for the family that could have been.

 

Having struggled desperately through infertility, more than a year of NaProTechnology to restore my fertility, conception, then the loss of our child in the first trimester, failure to conceive again despite what doctors described as ideal fertility in both of us, we took it as a sign we were meant to adopt.

We completed thirteen weeks of training, a homestudy, and were licensed as foster parents.  It was our intention to welcome a child who could not return to his or her family of birth into our home.  We were contacted with the names and bios of a sibling group.  It was a dream come true, two children who needed a family, for a family in need children!  We were chose as a pre adoptive family,  and told our adoption would occur about 6 months after placement.

The children were presented as “normal” with some mild behaviors due to all they had been through.  Looking back on the last nine months, I marvel at all the lies we were told and can only come to one conclusion: the children’s worker either lied to us to get the children off her caseload, or she is beyond incompetent.  Having heard the worker described as “one of the best” by her boss, I believe I have my answer.

The children who were described as, having “difficulty with transitions but no real problems,” came into our home and ate up the love they received.  They got on well with our dogs and our extended family, at least at first.  What started out as a dream soon became a tornado of violence and chaos.

Although the children were barely out of kindergarten, our home was not a safe place while they resided with us.  It became apparent that their needs were well beyond what we had been trained to care for.  Even the numerous clinicians working with our family agreed that the children were not ready to live in a core family.  After numerous calls to Emergency Medical and Psychological Services (EMPS), and even a few 911 calls, we knew we were in over our heads.  It was the most difficult decision we’ve ever made, but after nine months as foster parents, we had to admit that we were not the family the children needed.

Prior to making the decision, we participated in family therapy, learned to work around their numerous triggers, patched the holes they put in the walls, helped them learn to use soap and wash cloths, removed the lice they contracted at camp, got them through countless nights of tantrums complete with hours of screaming, physical violence, including harm to them and us, and even a behavioral hospitalization.   And still we intended to adopt.  It was when threats to our lives and safety came, that we finally made our decision.  Again, these were children barely out of kindergarten, who had planned harm, and showed the EMPS clinicians just where we kept our cutlery and how they intended to use it to harm themselves and us.

In the end, we learned a few things.  It didn’t matter how hard we tried, the children need more help than we could give them.  Even the clinicians said they’d need residential treatment, for 12 or more months before they’d be ready for adoption.  Living with us, having access to the intensive therapy, and the experience—albeit an unsuccessful one—of living in a family, provided the required evidence to prove that the children are not able to be adopted and required therapeutic care.

Our lives are forever changed, we will always love and pray for the children who we cared for.   And while we would have loved to give children from the foster care system a home, the lies, deception, and violence of the last nine months caused us to end our career as foster parents.

My Short Career in Our State’s Foster to Adoption Program… Part I

After more than two years on this journey, we had to consider the idea that we might be called to adopt.  Although we had been trying for more than two years, my hormone levels still hadn’t reached the optimum zone.  Dr. C, my NaProTechnology doctor, was starting to question if my body was truly ovulating.

Woman sitting in bed, holding stomach

Since diligence, not patience, has always been my strongest virtue, my first reaction was not to wait and pray about it, but to research how the whole thing happens.  After talking with friends and gathering information, we decided it was something we’d be interested in knowing more about.

This was an easy discussion for us.  When we were newly married and dreaming of our future family, we always saw either adoption or foster care as part of our family.  We love our careers and having married so young,  we thought perhaps adopting once our biological children were in middle school or high school would be a good thing for us and a child who would benefit from being part of a family.  (I’m aware of how presumptuous we were being, thinking we’d just get pregnant and have as many biological children as we wanted)

adopt

We decided that we’d like to adopt a child from our local community and so connected with our state’s foster care / adoption program.  We attended an open house and as luck would have it, we were the only family in attendance.  We got to ask all of our questions and I cried a lot.  Having to tell a total stranger that we were interested in adopting one of the children in their care because we can’t have our own made me feel a little selfish, but it’s the reality we’re living in.  We were looking for a child to foster, and there are plenty of children looking for a home.

We filled out the papers for background checks and made an appointment for our initial home inspection.  Our caseworker told us she’d be looking for two means of egress in the child’s bedroom, making sure that it would be on the same floor as ours, as well as initial overview of our home.  No big deal, we’d just make sure to do the dishes that morning, and make the bed before she came.

meeting

Well the day of our appointment happened to be the same day as our (not so) molar pregnancy.  It was quite the day.  By the time the caseworker arrived at our home, we had been through the wringer, but this was important enough for us to keep our appointment.  Our caseworker met our dogs, viewed our home and pronounced it a perfect place for children.  We were told that some more paper work needed to be done and that we might get an invitation to the upcoming foster parents’ class in early September.

Listening to God changes what you pray for…

For two years, I have prayed that we would conceive.   I prayed that this treatment or that would take.  I’ve had doctors show me mature ovarian follicles on ultrasound and then not be able to explain why we didn’t get pregnant.  The answer is that there is no Earthly explanation.  These things are beyond our control.  All the technology in the world is not as powerful as what God wants for us.

ovarian follicle

I prayed to God for guidance and asked that he lead us down a path to pregnancy.  Almost immediately a friend introduced me to NaProTechnology.  My endometriosis and grain allergy were discovered.  I was on the path to better health and what seemed like pregnancy.  Again, more than once, my doctor was puzzled about why conception wasn’t happening.

TTC

I know with absolute certainty that I am being called to motherhood.  Who else could have an amazing husband, 4 dogs, a full time teaching career, and still desperately feel an emptiness in her life that only a child can fill?  Why would I have been steered on to NaProTechnology if I weren’t meant to be a mother?  Even if we haven’t conceived after almost a year of working with NaPro, I am certainly healthier than I have ever been because of NaPro.  Looking back on my health a year ago, I don’t think that I would have been healthy enough to become a mom just a year ago.

I know that finding NaPro was part of God’s plan for me.  I’m just not sure that pregnancy is.  I’m not giving up on pregnancy, I’m just finally ready to recognize that it may not be part of God’s plan for me.  I don’t know if God is calling me to adopt, I know that I need to honor the fact that he may be doing so.

adoption

Like many women, I’ve been so desperate to conceive that I’ve looked for signs of pregnancy around every corner.  Each month as it becomes time to try again, I keep looking for signs and changes.  I couldn’t see any.  What I did see was a hidden support network for adoption that was quietly waiting for me to recognize it.  There’s a woman at my church who is both a foster mom and an adoptive mom, another friend of mine was adopted by relatives, a co-worker of mine is an adoptive mom who swears that her children are her biggest blessings.  It seems that God has given us a support system to guide us on this next phase of our journey.

Adoption is not something we pulled out of the sky, rather it’s something that we believed we would do later on in our lives.  We’re both young and don’t envision ourselves having an “empty nest” in our 50’s.  Since we’re in our 30’s at the moment, and I see children who are in need every day, adopting a child in need is something that we decided to do long ago.   And now, we find ourselves needing that child as much as he or she needs us.

baby steps to big dreams

This doesn’t mean we’re going to stop pursuing pregnancy, it just means that we have signed up as a foster to adopt family.  We are recognizing that there is more than one way to answer God’s call to parenthood.

So, I’ve changed what I’m praying for.  I used to pray that God would help us to get pregnant.  Now I pray that God will bless us with a child.