We found out on Friday that the judge has signed the reintegration plan for the foster kids we've had since October. They will be going home March 7. Since we learned this, we've really thought about if we want to foster another set, or if we're done with kids.
I had made mention before that I felt obligated to be a mom, because my husband really wanted kiddos. Well, we discussed that in depth this weekend. One thing he told me is that after dealing with the kids we have (plus the ones we've had), then he would be OK with not continuing to foster. I asked if it was because of me not handling things well, and he said only partly. The other part is that he realised being a parent is hard!
To those of you who are parents, I'm sure you said "DUH!" in your heads, and rolled your eyes. Honestly, I did, too. But the thing about my husband is that he is SO optimistic. Truly, in his head, we would get foster kids, and it would be like a sitcom. Sure, there would be problems, but they could all be solved with communication and a teensy bit of effort. And the reality that some kids, some problems won't be fixed no matter how much work we put into it really threw him for a loop.
His idea was that we would take in foster kids, teach them good behaviours, love them, and then they would go back to their parents-"fixed", if you will. Unfortunately, our long-term placement has a girl with severe behaviour issues (which we weren't told about before placement). These will probably never be fixed, especially as she is going back with her enabling mother who blames her actions on her ADHD, or meds, or possible Autism. (She's not at all autistic)
He is having a hard time coming to realise that everything we've worked on with her for the last 5 months will probably mean nothing after 3 weeks with her mom. He's kind of idealistic, and sometimes reality is hard for him.
However, he mentioned that the family we're considering pursuing adoption for (that we've never met, only read their online profile), is already kind of an emotional deal with us. We've imagined them in our lives, in our home. We have plans for remodeling the house that involve these kids. I have my hopes that this family will want a milk cow (named Sunshine), and will help us turn our acreage into a proper farm.
So we've decided to continue to pursue these kids. Their worker says their behaviours are far milder than the kids we currently have. They are older, and have had more stable placements than our current two. Overall, they seem like a better fit than the ones we have now. Plus, we would spend the rest of our lives wondering "what if" with this family. Or at least I would.
The interesting thing is, with this potential adoptive family, I don't feel obligated to be a mom. In fact, I'm the one pushing for more info. I'm the one who has already made a place in my heart for them. And I know, if the Best-Interest Staffing meeting doesn't choose us as an adoptive family, I'm going to be crushed.
Waiting is terrible. But that's what the foster system is about.