Traci and I had a fantastic conversation the other night. Parents of any nature can relate to each other through their activities and experiences of their children. It is SO VERY DIFFERENT for parents of foster children or adoptive children. We still relate to the "hey how old was Johnny when he .. blahblahabla" .. but they will NEVER understand how it feels to be a glorified babysitter for someone else while the birth parent/s do or they don't get their shit together. They may or may not take 1 month to 5 years to do that. Possibly will or wont show up to visits. Can't even leave the state without permission- and trying to get a hold of someone FOR that permission takes weeks.... so no spur of the moment ANYTHING as not only do you need permission but you have to work around visitation schedules that change on, sometimes, a daily basis.
No. No one can relate to that except other parents who are going or have been through it.
No one can understand, either, the fear of creating a bond. Don't get me wrong.. I LOVE PB. ADORE him. I would NEVER allow anything bad to happen to him. But to think.. well.. we MIGHT have him past April.. we MIGHT not.... and he may get driven away in a car and I would never see him again.
I knew that all of this was part of foster care. But even when I was told about it, I didn't think it sounded THAT bad. Newsflash: it is. The whole system is so messed up.
I tried to reach out to BM again today. I wanted to know, even though I signed something stating I would never email or post photos of PB, that if she would like, I could email them to her... but only if she were comfortable with that... as I don't have much time to get photos developed and I think it is important to have her see that her son is well taken care of. I told her stories of things he has been up to and talked about how well he is doing in daycare, etc. I also told her when the next doctors appointment is- and the things that I would like to cover at the appointment. One thing I would like to discuss is when I would be able to put a little bit of rice cereal in PB's bottle. He just isn't getting full.. and he seems to have a bit of reflux.
I get this in return: DO NOT GIVE HIM CEREAL. HE IS TOO YOUNG AND WILL CHOKE AND DIE. GIVE HIM MY MILK ONLY.
My response: Thank you for your input.
Yes. I am so careless that I will let you son choke and die. I am not giving him steak, woman. I am asking the doctor about putting a teaspoon to a tablespoon of rice cereal in his milk. If he is hungry, I am not going to make him suffer, if it will help the reflux... and the doctor says it is fine, I will do it. And, BM... I DON'T HAVE ANY BREAST MILK. Where am I supposed to get it, the breast milk tree I have in my back yard?
She refuses to send any milk on visits...as she says it is too hard for her to carry it. She refuses to send any home from her in home visit - as she says she doesn't trust the visitation facilitator to handle it correctly. Hey. BM. She is driving your son around the city and 45 minutes to see you. I think she will do okay with your breast milk.
When I try to talk to PB's caseworker about this.. she said "she doesn't want to get in the middle".
Kinda your job.
I can COMPLETELY understand why foster families don't stay in the system. Yes. There is a TON of emotions you have to deal with... and there is a TOTALLY BROKEN SYSTEM you have to deal with too.
I think of all the kids who could benefit from homes like mine... and it makes me SO SAD to know that because of the kind of BS I have had to deal with- people like me are leaving foster care all the time.
My life is wonderful outside of this stress, it really is. I am sorry to my readers that I have been using this as a ranting tool.. I just need to get it off my chest, and again, no one REALLY gets it.
Back to work.