We've only been foster parents for a year now. If you're following our story - that's 1 year, 8 kiddos, plus our own biological son who is a wonderful constant.
You'll also know that the #1 question we get is "Isn't it hard to let them go?" (always quickly followed up with ..."I'd get too attached"). Here's our answer. Since I wrote that post we've had 2 more placements, 2 more placements return home, and 2 times now where it finally hurt.
This may surprise you - the 2 times of hurt actually were not related to the 2 times we sent kiddos "home". The first actually had to do with our little boy who returned to care and we couldn't take him. We were sad we couldn't take him but even more devastated that he returned to care and their family we so desperately wanted to be "happily ever after" doesn't appear to be taking shape. The other has to do with this post.
Child #4 is our longest placement yet. The plan for a while now has been for her to be adopted by us pending termination of parents rights. Mom has relinquished (I'm told) dad has not (at least, not that I've been told). About 3 months ago now we received an email saying that mom is pregnant again and would like us to adopt both children. I was ecstatic - I had the chance to raise one more baby, probably my only other chance. I was excited this made them a sibling group, which eases the financial burden and allows us to help support other children in the future. I was excited that Sophia would have a biological sibling, something our son probably won't ever have.
We learned yesterday that the biological parents have decided to put their new child up for adoption through a private agency. What I've heard is that she would like to give the child to parents who can't have children. At this point, mom and dad have full authority to relinquish their rights to the baby for purposes of placing it up for adoption with a private agency. Though I'm told that there have been countless people talking to her about the value of keeping siblings together, it appears she made up her mind and from what I can tell has already chosen a family for this child to go to (though I don't know if that is the case). It feels as if no one thinks this is the best idea and yet no one can do anything about it.
Now, I'm not usually someone who sits back and sticks with "no one can do anything about it". I'm really not. At this point, I do see a handful of options that we could pursue, or help initiate anyway, and I know my God is big enough to break down this barrier if indeed that is his will. I believe his plan is bigger than any I could imagine.
We've felt the sting of adoption rejection before (on top of the sting of infertility). But this is SO much different. It's not just that we're not chosen, it's so much more complicated. Our daughter (if indeed we do end up getting to adopt her eventually) will have a sibling out there raised by other parents, not for her will or the sibling's but purely through the mother's desire, the mother who has given up her rights to parent her first child in preparation for having them taken away for, generally, an inability to make good choices for her child. The rationale, though her own that she is entitled to, doesn't make sense either - to place the child with a family who cannot have children. We cannot have children. We can't. Doctor's chances are like 1 in a trillion and we've used our 1. It's not something that can be "fixed". The only hope we have of having more children is if someone has them taken away from them or if someone gives them to us. That's it.
Somewhere along the line this mother has obtained the idea that we have 5 kids, or so I figured when the adoption agency said "don't you have like 5 kids?". I explained to them our situation - that we have 1 biological child and that's the only permanent child we have. We became foster parents to hopefully one day be blessed with forever children, so far our record is 0/8 in 12 months - maybe 1 if all goes well with our little girl. In the meantime we are providing a home to children who don't have a home - we're providing them a good home, with a loving family and loving parents. No good deed goes unpunished. Of course, if we had chosen to privately adopt and not be foster parents, it appears as if we might be a good match.
I'm not angry with birthmom. I wish her well. I don't think she understands the impact her decision has on us or on her children. The kind of life they'll lead either in never knowing their sibling, or in always knowing their sibling and can't live with them. Organizing sibling visits - then saying goodbye at the end. I feel sad for her knowing that she won't have the joy of raising her two kiddos - one of which I know is such a blessing. A beautiful girl that is growing bigger, smarter, more playful, and just a bucket of sunshine everyday (when her nose isn't stuffy with allergies). A beautiful girl that we love so much.
For now the option that we have - the only option we ever have really - is to leave it in God's hands. He is more capable than I am, than we are. He has a plan and I pray His will to be done. I pray that will is for us to have both children - to keep them together.
I pray He works a miracle here - if not in birthmom's heart than in mine - to accept the things I cannot change and to heal from the broken heart.