He is My BABY

Birth parents and fostering: grasping for any little bit of control in an out of control circumstance

Please make sure you…….

As a foster mom I have had birth parents tell me how to take care of their child. Especially if I am doing anything wrong in their eyes. They will be critical of any little thing. I believe it is a defense mechanism, they are trying to hang onto a little bit of control over their child. I absolutely understand their need to have this. It would be devastating to parents to lose their child. I can’t speak for all birth parents, but the ones I knew wanted their child back very badly.

I first saw this when my baby was first with a different foster family. Charlie’s birth mom and his first foster mom kept a journal back and forth at her visits. About 2 weeks in, his birth mom wrote to the foster mom, “please check to make sure your’e cleaning him fully. I changed his diaper and he was still dirty”.  Foster mom quickly apologized and offered a reason and then promptly put in her 10 days notice. I don’t know why exactly, but I got Charlie and I think it was meant to be. I understand the birth mom. I think she was just trying to have a small bit of control. In my interactions with her, I would just smile, and thank her for the things she brought for baby Charlie whether I used it or not. My job is to take care of him, I was fostering him. It was all up to her what happened with him, it had nothing to do with me.

Another baby I had, I gave the birth mom my cell phone number. I only had the baby for a few days, but she was constantly texting wanting updates on the baby. Making sure I knew how important the baby was to her. I know other foster families have experienced constant calls and even false accusations. It is a path that can be difficult to walk. I felt it was important to be on good terms with the birth parents. Charlie’s birth mom needed to trust me. I wanted to adopt him and she needed to feel good about me and know her child was well cared for and loved. I did not ever lead her to believe I wanted to adopt him more than anything. This was all her. I had nothing to do with the outcome. She was either going to succeed or not.

And Ultimately she did not succeed.