Birth parents, Reasons not to vilify
Because she is still Charlie’s birth mom and that would be wrong….
I have to admit, I am still disappointed in Charlie’s birth mom. But I honestly do not know her. I don’t know about her family history, her mental state or her current life. I have not spent one day with her to get to know her. That was not my job as a foster parent. When Charlie gets older I will not tell him anything bad about her. That would only hurt him.
She’s only human….
I know people make mistakes, and I am no saint. Maybe I have a little more maturity than she does. Well, probably a lot. I am actually 2 years older than her mom. So I have maturity on my side. I don’t really know why she was caught up in drugs or why she is always desperate for love and a boyfriend. Maybe that is just the person she is. People make mistakes and sometimes you have to pay for them.
She was unable to parent him…
His young birth mother was literally unable to parent him. Without a place to live, no money, no car, and no family to help, it probably took all of her effort just to keep herself going. In this day and age it is hard to keep up. People who were doing well 15 years ago are struggling now. Times are tough. And they are really tough for a young, uneducated, unskilled, unemployed mom on drugs.
When Charlie is grown and he wants to find his birth mom I will be happy to help him locate her. But I hope he will understand that adoption was the best option for him. I hope he will see what kind of life she has lived and he will be grateful that his life is not like hers. As for his bio dad, he did the best thing for Charlie that he could have done. He willingly gave him up. He knew he could not take care of him.
What does a birth family go through with a child in foster care?
I can only imagine
Let’s say I had my baby, I love him so much. I get caught up in something I didn’t plan. And all of a sudden my baby is gone. The state has taken my child and put him in a foster care family that I don’t know and neither does he. I can imagine this is the worst feeling in the world. I would not wish that upon anyone.
But the truth is DHS just doesn’t come along randomly and take children from their family and put them in foster care. The birth family was doing something wrong, very wrong. They don’t take kids away because parents spank or punish or ground. They take kids away because they are pregnant and smoking meth or exposing drugs to children, or abusing them or neglecting them etc..
For my baby’s birth mom, her first 2 children were taken and adopted before Charlie was even born. She had been arrested and charged with intent to sell meth and her boyfriend had hid the drugs in the car registered to her. Maybe she lost her kids because she was in jail waiting for her court date. I don’t honestly know. But I do know she was involved with the wrong people doing the wrong things. And that also means subjecting your children to bad things. Perhaps her childhood was bad with parents in and out of jail and prison. One thing I do know, if you are going to have children you better protect them and keep them safe from bad things. Or don’t have children until you are ready, or you are mature enough to consider adoption.
I know having your child taken from you is absolutely heartbreaking, but were they thinking of their child in the first place? Charlie’s mom is an addict and she was given every option for help possible. But that meant working a program, staying clean, not having any fun. She wanted a boyfriend, she wanted fun, she wanted an easy carefree life. That is not how you get your baby back. And ultimately she did not get him for even one day. And as much as she was heartbroken, I am glad. This was all on her and she could not even clear the first hurdle. I do feel sorry for her that she could not get herself together. But it is going to take a long time for her to learn. She has baby #4 with her now. I hope she keeps that baby safe. I hope.
I have not walked one step in her shoes. So I will not judge her. I only know that to be a parent it takes giving up everything for that child; every spare minute is given to them. I have only one child and I have no idea how people can raise more than 1 and afford to do it. There is no way I could be doing drugs or anything other than what is best for my son. I know it is painful for them, but it is also painful for the children. And the children always come first.
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.
Foster Care Reunification = Return to family
As a foster parent, I can’t stress this enough to anyone who is considering foster care – the main and end goal of almost every child case is reunification. I heard it over and over. Every class, every meeting, every court hearing. It is a process of always working to get the child back to their family. Fostering is very difficult because, yes, you might have to give that child back. Back to a healthy parent, an alcoholic parent, a drug abuser, or a domestic abuser. Each case is only given a certain amount of time, so it will not go on forever. However, a parent of a newborn baby will get more time. My baby’s birth mom was given a limit of 18 months to get herself together. DHS will give a birth parent every service available all FREE. Paid by our tax dollars. Free gas cards, Walmart gift cards, counseling, therapy, food, housing, bus passes, formula, diapers and money. They are given everything possible to help them succeed. Yet a lot of them cannot clear the first hurdle.
My baby’s birth mom’s list of requirements.
- Have a place to live
- Maintain a job
- Complete drug rehab
- Complete counseling/therapy
- Provide clean UAs
- Attend her visits and engage
That’s it. She did not have her child to take care of and she could not accomplish even one requirement. As time went on some things were added and others were not so important any more. I don’t know the birth mom and my interactions with her weren’t often. I did what she asked and I took care of her baby. That was my only role in this child’s case. I can’t say anything bad about her because I have not walked in her shoes nor do I know anything about her life or her past. This is the role of a foster parent. It is a thankless job. I only know that my baby was placed in foster care because his birth mom was smoking meth and pot while she was pregnant. Even on the day he was born. I am not an addict, so I can’t say anything about that. But I do know my baby will have to live with what she has done to him. She did not get him back and I can honestly say I am thankful. Because I know he is safe and I can finally get to be a mom, I adopted him in February of 2016.
I will not deny, I know she loved him so much. And that is the most heartbreaking part for all these children in the system.
This is where I started my foster care journey http://www.ifapa.org
This is for foster care in Iowa.