Adoption

Waiting for foster/adopt heartbreak

Hello to all you fostering and foster/adopt families out there,

 We have been licensed for just under a year now, and have found ourselves with a beautiful 5 1/2 mo old baby that we've fallen in love with. He is NOT legally free, and we have a least 1+ year to go before parental termination processes would start.

 Without going into identifying details, we took in this little guy as an emergency, temporary placement (was only supposed to last 72 hours) and now, almost 3 months later... he has been identifyed as a long-term placement. Due to his racial background, we may never be allowed to legally adopt him, but he has been identified as a case that will go for at least a few more months.

 My DH and I talked about it for several weeks, and we decided to stay in it for the long-haul with him, even though our primary goal is foster/adoption because we believe that all things happen for a reason, and that god wanted us to take care of him. But now--all I can think about is losing him. 

How did you survive the uncertianty? If he ends up reunifying now, next month or next year, I won't have any regrets knowing that he had a loving home...but it makes me cry just thinking about it.

 Any advice would be helpful.

-Owen Family.  

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Re: Waiting for foster/adopt heartbreak

  • I am a fellow foster parent, and we have adopted one darling son from foster care, and are currently awaiting word that we can start the adoption process on our current FS.  When we first started fostering, we had two darling kids who both were returned to family.  It was heartbreaking to see them go, but it was a placement of an infant baby boy, JUST removed from his home and placed with us that totally broke our heart.  Of course, it was early in the case, and there was no way to know which direction it would take.  But, we fell in love with him and six months later, he was reunified with his father.  If I touched his life even a FRACTION of the amount he touched my life, then my job as a foster parent was done right.  I was heartbroken when he left.  the biggest message I can try to send u is that u cannot avoid the heartbreak.  It is inevitable.  allow yourself time to grieve.  I was so sad that I hated coming home after work to an empty home.  I remembered the days I would come home with him and play with him and listen to his bubbly little laugh.  I would literally find errands to do that I really didnt even have, just to avoid going right home.  It took awhile, and I started to feel better.  Our next foster son was placed with us just a few weeks after the other had left, and at first it was weird caring for another infant who wasn't him.  Now, that little guy is my son and I would never have it anyother way.  God had a plan. 

    We are all hear for u to lean on when u are feeling down.  You are doing something that takes a HUGE Heart and dedication.  I know people probably say it to you all the time (they do to us just before they say they could never foster), but you are one in a million.  Remember that.

    I do have one question tho...If he WERE to become available for adoption, why would u not be able to adopt him?  anyways, as a foster parent, love on him while u can and help faciliate reunification in everyway possible.  If it turns into an adoption case, then u can look back and know u did everything possible to help faciliate the case and help the parents succeed.  GL!

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  • huge HUGS. I have been there and it is hard.  you keep loving and keep adoring and know that you if he leaves, you won't have any regrets for how much you loved him while he was with you.

    When he leaves, you will grieve, but try as hard as you can to be his family until that day comes. It will hurt bad enough when he goes, no need to extend it to now.

    Married on 3.20.2004. It took 30 month, 2 failed adoptions and IVF for our first miracle. We have had 9 foster kids since he was born and started the domestic adoption process when he was 10 month old, we had 4 failed matches in that time. After our daughter was born we brought her home and spent 2 weeks fearing we might lose her because of complications that came up. But Praise God all went through and she is ours forever! Expecting again after IVF Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
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  • Curious, why would the baby's racial profile keep you from adopting? No words of wisdom, just best wishes that he gets to stay with you :)
  • For those of you that asked, our foster child is Native Alaskan, and he falls under the regulations of the Indian Child Welfare Act. His tribe has allowed non-native adoptions in the past (neither DH or I are native!) but will work diligently to find another member to take him before allowing the termination to happen.

    The State concluded their search for all extended family last month, and it was determined that no suitable placement options, including one suspected birth-father figure were available. So its all up to Mom. In the meantime, we just have to emerse him in his culture the best we can and give it back to God.

    Thanks for listening. 

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  • Oh wow!  So, what happens if no one in the tribe is able to take him?  Would you be able to be considered for adoption?  How crazy, I have heard of these cases before but have never come into contact with one (and I worked in social services for 4 years before fostering and my DH currently works in social services as well). 
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  • To be honest, I'm not sure. It is possible that we could be considered as a possible forever home, or the tribal counsel may request that we take gaurdianship over him, and he will remain in the system. I have met other families with native children, and some will spend the full 18 years without being adopted. It just breaks my heart. 
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  • I would never wish my worst enemy to have to work with a case that is involved with ICWA. It's a tainted act that truly needs to be revised.
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    Oh, Savannah! Your brothers are THAT bad!


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  • My fost/adopt (now daughter) was identified as Navajo by her birth family.  I was horrified (from hearing here how horrible that process could be).  I almost wanted to give her back when I found out as it got me so emotionally torn to think about having her for a year and then she'd leave.  I'm not sure how my case ended up so ideal, fast and easy, but the social workers simply notified all the tribes and they had two weeks to get back to us whether or not they'd take her.  None accepted her (for lack of better words).  The birthfamily would have had to be registered in the tribes, which they never were.  They were simply saying they were Navajo and that is not good enough.  Even if it's in their blood, they'd have to be registered.  I didn't know that fact till we experienced it.  So we were in the clear within a few weeks, and we finalized adoption before she even turned 1.  I consider it a miracle, as there were many times they told me she was going to an aunt, grandma, birthfather, tribe, you name it.  So it's hard for me to tell anyone to give up knowing my outcome and how our lives are more amazing than we could have ever imagined now because of our LO. 
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