Sunday, December 13, 2009

Foster care now and then

It seems like time for an update on my foster care and adoption journey, so I will start a few update posts to fill you in on the ridiculous crazy life of a foster care family and the beautiful children we have been blessed to care for:

For those who know Daisy, my first foster baby, she is still a joyful part of our lives. She visits when I pick her up, which is every 2-3 weeks now. If I go over two weeks, she usually gives me a call asking to visit. She says, "pick me up!" (her mom swears Daisy begged, but I think it may be mom needing the break sometimes. :-) Do I care? No. What struggling young single mom of four young kids couldn't use a break from a wild little three year old? Especially if you knew your three year old would be loved and cared for and treated like a princess. The more love we give Daisy the more it is returned.

It is easier now with Daisy. She still calls me mommy once she gets away from her mom, but respectfully calls me Susan in her presence. I am glad, as I never want her mom to feel I am in competition with her. Someday, I know to Daisy I will be just "Susan" and that is okay. I am not her mommy and over time as she bonds with her own mother she will start to understand the difference. Now it is hard, as she still wants to stay with us, and resists being returned home. But she doesn't cry like she used to, so it is easier for her, but sometimes harder for me.

I pray there will never be a day that Daisy does not want to come to my house, because we have more rules, or her gang is not in my street. But my family knows this is a possibility. We have joked that we don't want to have Daisy's baby in foster care. Sad. But if our love can help to let her know she does not need a gang or a man to make her feel whole then we know she will be okay.

So I am happy to say, we didn't "lose" our first foster baby, as I once thought, when she was returned home in a last minute court change, while we were in the process to adopt. We still have her in our lives and we have gained so much.

As I say this I know it is time for a visit. Time to pick her up, complete with a change of clothes, box of baby wipes, and milk and snack at hand. You see, when we arrive to pic her up, we can go no where with her, unless she is cleaned up. She is usually filthy, and will turn the bath muddy. Her hair. . .well we never know. Sometimes they chop up her beautiful hair just for fun. She sometimes has magic marker, black, used as makeup. Little drawings on her body too. And her clothes will usually be something I would be embarrassed to give to good will. Sometimes they are fine and clean, but a size 5. Daisy wears a 3. Her mom has clothes for Daisy, we have given her many, but she chooses not to use them. So now we don't bother. We have a small wardrobe for her (who am I kidding, she is better dressed than me!). We wash what she comes in and put it back on her for the return trip home. I don't know what her mom thinks she wears at my house, but she never has asked, and has never offered to send an outfit.

We aren't rich and are actually really struggling and probably do not have as many resources as her mom, so don't think I am being insensitive. I am just telling you like it is.


"A child fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty"


traceylynndel said...

Thanks for sharing about Daisy. I hope she always stays in your life and you are that bright spot she goes toward instead of following in her mother's path.

diaryofayouthpastor'swife said...

I can SOOO relate... good post visit pick up for us = the diaper wasn't so full that it soaked through and her clothes weren't drenched in urine or the no nap, sugar rush & mountain dew induced complete melt down lasted only 2 hours this time.

The only comfort came in the incredible resiliency of the precious kids who call us mom when the "real" mom isn't around :)

Anonymous said...

Hello. I just found your blog. My husband and I are brand new foster parents. I am looking forward to following your journey! And, your experience will help us in ours.