fost-adopt parenthood.

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{photo by bart kung via oc register}

it is a unique situation being a fost-adopt parent, for you are constantly reminded that the child in your home is not “yours” yet. there are visits from social workers, and there are court dates, and meetings with people who are related by blood but unknown to him, and you have to deal with whatever aftermath there is. you are told that, despite caring for your sick child, staying up with him during sleepless nights, being there for the hurt and happy moments, you have a certain “role”, and that is one where you have no real say. nearly every major decision you make concerning this child must be approved by someone else. for much of the time you have no voice to speak on his behalf.

when you are a fost-adopt parent you learn to savor each moment, because you don’t know when it will end. so you linger a little longer at bedtime when he asks you to, despite there being a sink full of dishes and toys to be picked up. you hold him a little tighter. you tell him you love him every. chance. you. get. not that most parents wouldn’t do this, but you are more fully aware that it is not your decision if he will stay or go. the decision will lie in someone else’s hands. you also become hypersensitive to those parents who appear to take the time with their children for granted. the parents who shoo their child away because they want to talk on their phone and the ones who curse at their children in public. the parents who tell a teacher that they don’t have time to deal with their kid’s grades. you want to shake them and remind them that it all goes too fast, all he wants is your love and attention, all he wants is to feel safe. wake up and pay attention.

it’s easy to become bitter being a fost-adopt parent. you have gone through weeks of “training”. you have had countless visits to see if everything is in order. is the water heater temp too high? are the knives locked up? is the medicine put out of harm’s way? you have had questions, very personal questions, asked of you. you have been sized up, determined if you are worthy to care for someone else’s child. someone who isn’t. you sometimes become angry to know that for some having children comes so easily. and sometimes, you are in awe that the birth parents of someone so beautiful, so perfect, cannot complete what looks to you a simple list to get their child back. so you wait, and wait.

but these bitter, angry moments are fewer than the happy ones because a fost-adopt parent mostly just makes the choice to love openly and selflessly. and that is what makes him or her a true parent. and no one can take that away.

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2 Comments

Filed under adoption, foster care

2 responses to “fost-adopt parenthood.

  1. Ashley

    You are so right. Thanks for posting the truth.

  2. that little one is so lucky to have someone so loving and special in his life.

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