Foster Care Journey: Not So Simple
Like many kids entering foster care my brothers and I didn’t know what to expect for our future. We had some family help getting away from the abuse going on and they said that they would be willing to take us. I thought this made things pretty simple since we had someone that was willing to take all of us, they were good people and would take good care of us. Come to find out things just aren’t that simple. The thought that we would be going to live with family still dragged on though for many months.
I never really felt fully informed about the process, what was going on, or why it needed to be that way. It amazed me how hard they pushed reunification. My parents had gotten away with abuse for years and I felt that they would only get better in hiding it. I didn’t realize what was going on at first. Since there was a criminal case against my parents that made things more complicated. There were depositions, psych evals, therapy sessions, and meetings with different people. Being fifteen I got the jist of what was going on but the scary part was I didn’t know there motives. I didn’t understand what all the questions or tests where for. They told me my brothers could possibly go back but it was unlikely that I would. That scared me even more because there would be nobody there to protect them in case something went really bad.
How can you have a criminal case with charges of abuse and neglect against someone that believes they didn’t do anything wrong and want to give them a kids. It seemed like they made it pretty simple for my parents. Admit this, jump through these hoops, and fix this and you have your kids back. It was once explained it like this to me: If you were feeding your kids chocolate cereal and DFS came in and said “chocolate cereal is bad, if you admit you did something wrong and promise to never feed them chocolate cereal again we will give you back your kids” would you argue that chocolate cereal isn’t bad, that it was just a misunderstanding, and that you didn’t do anything wrong or would you apologize and never feed your kids that cereal so you could keep them. It all seemed pretty simple to me. Once again things aren’t that simple.
Once my parents rights were terminated there was more uncertainty. I was close to graduating and I was deciding I was just going to stick around the area. My brothers were younger though and needed to find a permanent home. The family member that I though we would go live with was turned down by DFS and so was a second family member that came into our live while we were in foster care. They don’t reveal the reason why. After that it was decided that they were going up for adoption. Adoption is not a simple a process
I haven’t gone through adoption process myself but I saw what my brothers went through. There were adoption fairs and couples that would come over and see them. They didn’t really know what was going on but it made me feel uncomfortable. I know this process had to be done but I felt they were being shown like cattle. There was a couple that was interested, passed inspections and my brothers went to stay with them. It turned into longer visits and finally got to the time to take that final step to take my brothers on full time. They came with back with my brothers that final trip and decided that the arraignment wasn’t for them. I felt bad for my brothers because they couldn’t understand why they weren’t going to live with them. I was mad that my brothers were put through those ups and downs. That situation wasn’t simple for anyone involved.
I am glad that they made that decision though. I wouldn’t want my brothers to be with a family that second guessed their decision. They ended up getting adopted by a great family on the next go around. They live a whole lot closer so it worked out better in that end too. It’s wasn’t a simple journey. Not knowing where you’re going, not having the power to choose, and dealing with your current life situation is a lot for a child to handle. In the end you roll with the punches and see how you come out at the end of the round.
If you would like to share your story about your journey as a foster kid or parent, or just read others stories, visit our shared stories section.