Posted by: fosteringcare | July 23, 2010

No more Brady Bunch…

  “You have to have a license to drive a car, but only have to have a uterus to have a baby.” 

             So many variations of that thought have been created and repeated that it almost becomes benign, that is… until somebody walks into your house with some of those “babies”. A lanky, bright red-headed, nine-year old boy, with an endearing smile and the charm of a politician came through our door first, followed by the case worker who held his eleven month old, precious little brother in her arms. Knowing how old he was, it was obvious that he was tiny for his age. Head full of curls, huge brown eyes and a very serious little face, he took us all in. Putting faces to the story I had been told about their life, was unreal. I could no longer go about in my Brady Bunch world, immune to the horrors some children have to endure, my young tender heart was bruised a little that day, but I was ready for us to “save” them, to be heros. All of the training, was about to be put to use, finally we had a “placement”, children that needed us! I had no clue how badly they really did need us. 

           No matter how much training you go to, or how many books you have read, it cannot prepare you for actually having a child taken from their home and everything they’ve known, and brought to you. All you know is what’s in their “file”, what’s been reported…you slowly come to learn so much more. The baby did not cry tears. No tears. He would begin to cry, face contorted, no tears coming from his eyes and then proceed to hold his breath and pass out.  The first time he did this, his brother casually said, “Oh, that’s just what he does”, my mother nearly passed out with him.  What was so horrible in his short 11 months that his only defense mechanism was to make himself pass out?  We would never know, but offhanded comments, randomly mentioned at no particularly special times by his brother, gave stark insight to the everyday existence of what was not reported.

             Apparently this was not going to be a temporary, emergency placement as we had planned. The boys stayed for weeks, which turned into months, which turned into a year (for the little guy it turned into forever).  Excitement of having them in my life quickly grew into a less-exciting reality as the months went by. My “tender” heart became annoyed at having another obnoxious boy (like my blood-brother) around 24/7. The baby was adorable and not really an issue for me, but I thought that the 9 yr. old should be more grateful, not fighting with my brother or having an attitude with my parents… I mean REALLY, did he forget what we were doing for him?! What we saved him from?!?  Oh how fast my bleeding heart dried up when things weren’t easy, or fun or when they cost me something I considered a sacrifice. Guilt became a running theme in my mind. I felt guilty because he had such a horrific life which wasn’t his fault, and a lot of his behaviors were a direct result of that, yet I was still so mad at him for how he was behaving! Reconciling those two facts was an impossible feat, so I floundered between telling myself it wasn’t his fault and being furious at him. Not much fun. That was when I realized how huge this fostering thing was. It was going to consume my life, every part of it would be affected and it would not all be in a positive way.

 

 

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Responses

  1. Jane… your words describe my daughter so well.
    Thank you so much for sharing!


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