Saturday, March 9, 2013

KNOWING but not understanding

I KNOW the goal of foster care is to reunite kids with their parents or relatives and achieve permanency. I KNOW what I signed up to do as a foster mom. In addition to being a foster parent, I am a social worker, so I KNOW exactly what the outcomes are for children who are removed from their families of origin (and it isn’t always good, no matter how stable and loving a home they grow up in).

So why am I so heartbroken to hear that A & N will not be returning to our home after five months in their kinship placement? Their caregivers are feeling very overwhelmed with N’s recently surfaced behaviors (um…duh, three moves in 13 months for a toddler). I love the relatives they live with and want to support them as much as possible. They live out of state, so physically helping them isn’t an option.

However, when they recently contacted me and said they were planning to relinquish the girls in April – even though I KNEW that there was another approved relative placement for them – I allowed a teeny, tiny part of myself to hope they might come back to us. Yesterday I learned that the caregivers have decided to keep them. They have good reasons for doing so, and I am honestly thrilled that the girls will have permanency and not have to move again. But still…I keep thinking about how it could have gone if they’d been returned to us. Sometimes I just don't understand life works out the way it does.

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