I am the proud biological mom of two girls, one who will be 29 the day before Valentine’s Day, the other 23 years old. I really wanted more than two children but my husband, the father of the 23 year old, was set on just the one child, so after her birth we took measures to prevent any more pregnancies.
As the girls grew older, and my husband as well, my husband and I began talking about how we really wished we had not made such a hasty decision about the size of our family. Unfortunately, there was no chance of reversing the measure we had taken, so two children it would be, or so we thought.
About 6 years ago I attended a church where not one, but two, foster families attended. Both of these foster families had just adopted the children they had been fostering. One family had adopted four boys, the other a sibling group of three. As I watched these two families I began thinking that this was something my husband and I could do. It took me about 6 months and having some of these boys over to my home for my husband to agree to start the process of becoming a foster parent, with the goal to be to adopt a little boy. We were not sure what all would be involved, but we agreed that we go into the process with an open mind.
May of 2004 we began attending classes called IMPACT. This is a 20 hour training class that exposes you to the challenges that you will experience as a foster parent. Part of this class is filling out tons, upon tons, of paper work. You must be honest with yourself, and the state, when filling out this paper work. I was forced to think about things that had happened in my childhood, and even in my own children’s upbringing. Finally, in November of 2004, we were asked to temporarily foster a teenage boy. It was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and he needed to move from the foster home he was in at the time. He was to move to a therapeutic home after Thanksgiving. We said yes, and the temporary time ended on December 31st, 2004.
Having had our first foster experience behind us, we were asked to respite care 3 small children the first of January , 2005. The foster family they were living with had some person family business they needed to address. We were excited to have this 5 year old boy, 4 year old girl and 2 year old girl spend some time with us. After four days of respite care, the children were allowed to stay with us. At this time we were under the impression these children’s parents had abandoned them, and that at some point they would probably be available for adoption. That thought changed one week later as the dad contacted DFCS about his children. For the next 10 months we began very attached to these children and it was difficult when the day came for these children to move home with dad, and their new stepmother. We still see these children occasionally and this lessens the heartbreak somewhat.
December of 2006 we took in a 3 year old boy and a 2 year old girl, with no preconceived ideas about their long term possibilities. In February of 2007 their 1 year old sister was placed with us to reunite the sibling group. When I met these children’s parent I got a gut feel that these children would some day become available for adoption; however for my family it was not meant to be. My husband was staying sick a lot this year, and in May of 2007 he developed a bad staff infection and had to be hospitalized . The children were moved from my foster home to another, and since that time parental rights have been terminated. The case is under appeal but it is highly probable that these 3 children will have new parents and last names before the end of 2009.
In August of 2007 we were ready to try again. A 4 ½ year old little boy, with several developmental delays was placed with us from another foster family. He came with a mother that lived in a different state and a dad. Both parents wanted their son, but the parents were not together and had no intention of getting back together. We had no thoughts about this child becoming an adoptable child. In March of 2008 everything was moving toward this little boy reuniting with his mom. He even spend spring break with his mom and his sisters. Dad, after visiting with the child in January, just stopped. He has not been heard from since that day.
After the week the child spent with Mom things changed. Mom moved from the home she was living in. She lost her job. She lost her brother. She stopped calling for a while. DFCS , since the child had been in care for 15 months, began the TPR (termination of parent rights) process again the child’s mom and dad. I knew the child had a biological granddad , so again, I had no thoughts about this child being a child that I would be able to adopt. It was during this time frame that DFCS called us to see if we would take a 4 year old girl and 2 year old boy. The TPR process had begun against their mom, and biological fathers. There appears to be no relative that meets the states criteria as suitable placement. The foster family they had been with was not interested in adopting the two and DFCS was looking for a couple that would take the children. Since the probability was good that these two would become available for adoption we said yes.
Since July of 2008, we have been foster parents to a 5 year old boy, 4 year old girl, and 2 year old boy.There’s never a dull moment in this house.
The judge granted the termination on the 5 year old on December 4th ,2008 and signed the order on December 30, 2008. Biological parents have 30 days to appeal the TPR. The granddad turned out not to be viable placement. That little boy , that we had no reason to think would every become available for adoption, has. On Monday , February 2nd , 2009 my husband and I will sign the papers with DFCS concerning our intent to adopt this child. I meet with the attorney on Thursday February 5, 2009 and the little boy should be ours by the end of March, my husband’s birthday.
As for the 4 year old and the now almost 3 year old little boy, time will tell. We have yet to get to court for the beginning of the TPR hearing. It is possible , though, that by the end of 2009 this home, that started out with two girls, wishing to grow by one little boy, may instead grow by 2 boys and a girl.
For all those families out there currently fostering with the hopes of someday getting the opportunity to adopt, I say keep on believing that it will happen someday. Just don’t be surprised if you end up with more children than you expected !