6.19.2012

It's time to come clean.

Do you realize that the last post I made was on April 16th?  That means I've put off completing this post for over two months.  When you read about the horrible thing I did, you'll understand why I avoid writing about it. . .

The stories are true.  When we took our state required classes for Foster care, the teachers always gave stories and examples about some worst-case scenarios of kids coming into your home.  I think they were making sure that we knew Foster care was a ministry, and that it was hard.  They were right.  It is hard.

When people around us started asking where the boys were, I told them they had moved on to another Foster family.  Which was partially true.  When we didn't have the two boys at church with us on Sunday and their loving teachers said things like "how sad" and "will you get to hear what happens to them", I said "unfortunately no", but I didn't feel sad, and I didn't want to know what happened to them.

Why would I tell people that I couldn't handle Little boy "E" and Big boy "E" anymore?  Why couldn't I be honest and say that I sent them away? Why didn't I tell people that I had just added more confusion to their already unstable life?

I failed as a foster mom.

On January 25th I drove Big E and Little E to the DES department where they would have visits with their parents.  I had personally loaded all of their clothes, Christmas gifts and toys in the back of the car, along with a two page paper detailing their daily schedule, likes and dislikes.  As the workers helped me unload the boys they asked where they were going.  I told them they were having another sleepover like the one they had when Ryan and I went out of town, that answer made them excited since they enjoyed meeting new people.  Along with the McDonalds I picked up for them,  the CPS workers walked the boys behind the doors and I never saw them again. I didn't say goodbye to them because I basically lied to them about what was happening anyway.

Like I said, I failed as a Foster mom, but what tore at my heart, was that I failed as a mom.

For six weeks I had been hanging on by a thread every day.  I looked forward to Ryan coming home each evening because he gave me a ray of light that was positive, and I could then make it through the night.  Other parents have hard kids right?  You've seen people in public with children throwing tantrums, hitting and etc.-and those moms are dealing with it.  They can't give their children up, and they love them through the good and bad times. 

Every time that Big E hit the wall, screamed at me, talked back, cussed at a teacher, kicked my seat in the car and so on... any compassion that I had for this emotionally abused child went away.  And he totally had issues and a bad family life, and yet I still couldn't bring myself to love him through the bad times.  Why? I'm not sure.  As a new Foster parent I wasn't sure if you felt this way with all kids because they aren't technically yours, or if it was because in the back of my mind I new his placement was temporary and I was waiting for the day that he would leave.  But eventually I came up with the conclusion that I simply gave up as a mother.  It was my job to care for these two boys, and I said no.

This decision wasn't made lightly, we prayed about it, spoke with people in Foster care and also with our families.  In the end our marriage was taking a toll since we were both pushed to the edge every day, Ryan and I were becoming very impatient and short with Brooklyn because all of our energy was being used on the boys, and Brooklyn was seeing bad behaviors daily and was just getting to a stage where she was picking up on some of the things.

We spoke with a Christian lady who has Fostered children for 15 years and she encouraged us that some kids aren't a fit for your home.  You do the best you can but ultimately the health and safety of your family needs to come first.  Also, that some other families might have already raised kids and/or be more equipped for the kinds of behaviors that the boys had. 

I have no idea what happened to these boys.  My prayer is that they found a loving but disciplined home. 

Even with our family in support of our decision, I was still a failure and felt like a horrible mom.  Was I cut out to do Foster care? Was it possible for me to love even the really tough kids?  Is this what Foster care looks like and do I really want to continue?  I still don't know these answers, but Ryan and I did make the decision that we would LEARN from this experience, and that no matter the circumstance, we would never disrupt a child's life like that again.  Just because Ryan and I were new Foster parents doesn't mean we are allowed "trial and errors". . .because these are kids' lives that we're dealing with.

So we took some much needed time away from the system.  We spent a month with miss Brooklyn and Ryan went on a mission trip to India.  Finally in March we were ready to get back on the list again, and I told Ryan that if our third placement failed-I'm done Fostering.  Seriously.

2 comments:

  1. Sara,
    You are amazing. Even if you don't feel like it with this experience. You were amazing. At least you went out on a crazy limb with only God's help, grace, and strength to take these troubled children into your home. Most people won't even do that, let alone care for them on a daily basis. You and Ryan did. You cared for those brothers each day you had them (and each night, but then Ryan could thankfully help you). You didn't fail. God had them with you for some reason, even if only a short while. God never allows things for one reason, either. Those boys were there for themselves and they were with you for you...to teach you something. Nothing is ever wasted in your christian walk. No event, no trial, no tears...nothing. You did not fail. You did what other people won't step up and do...

    And when you said this, "We spoke with a Christian lady who has Fostered children for 15 years and she encouraged us that some kids aren't a fit for your home. You do the best you can but ultimately the health and safety of your family needs to come first. Also, that some other families might have already raised kids and/or be more equipped for the kinds of behaviors that the boys had." THAT is so true. Maybe those boys you helped raise for a short time were NOT a fit for your home for longer. And that is fine. God does things that way. You didn't fail as a mom or a foster mom. You loved them better than they've ever been loved. And perhaps now they are with foster parents who know how to handle that kind of behavior. Just because you couldn't at this point in your life doesn't mean you failed, love. I can't state it enough!!! You didn't fail because you answered God's PLEA to help children. He knew the kids you'd be getting. He has a much bigger plan in store for everyone involved. Even you having this experience to share will help foster moms years from now and you will be a blessing to them. God takes things that are not so good and turns them into something wonderful! This experience will do that, too! Even you writing about it glorifies God, stating your need for Him and your reasons for doing this. And He knew in advance your limit and that you'd only be able to have them for so long. You did a good thing taking them in and then knowing your limit and letting them move onto another family.

    I figured this is what your post would be and I have to say I'm so glad you shared it because as a new foster mom myself, I will most assuredly like you, go through something like this at some point and will need your wisdom and words to rely on during that time.

    You are a good mom, Sara! And will continue to be to all the little ones God send through your door!!!

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  2. Sara,
    Your transparency is a blessing. Thank you for speaking truth, and giving others the power to speak truth. Your humility speaks volumes for your witness to the power of Jesus in your life. Thank you for continuing to be obedient in the midst of chaos. And I do believe obedience sometimes means letting go and realizing when you are just not equipped at that moment, in that season, for what you have been handed. I love Isaiah 40:11 that reminds us that God gently leads those that have young. He does know how hard it is to parent... You are amazing and we love you! -Lisa Libby

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