Foster Care Training, cont.

Today was far more difficult and challenging than yesterday was. We didn't have as much interaction and stimulation to keep us interested and so the first half we all felt dumped on with information.

We learned about the law and all the things that go along with what has been put in place and why. The frustrating part about today was that in some cases the law made zero sense. The first goal in any case is what they call "reunification" or getting the kids back with their biological parents. If that can't be done after lots of different trials and hearings, then that child or children is placed in a forever home/adopted. That makes sense.

In order to explain the law and different things to us today they shared with us various scenarios. One of them was a case where the social worker kept saying that this mom was a good parent when she continually would go back to her abusive boyfriend and allow her child to witness and be around when she was abused. I asked how many times it took until parental rights were severed. They said there was no limit as long as that mom was doing what the state required and proving to be a "good parent". That means she had to keep doing certain things like going to counseling or staying clean and sober, in order to keep her child in her custody. This does not make sense.

Basically, there are more rights for parents than there are for kids. In fact, I venture to guess if animals have more rights than children do. I know I'm simplifying things here, but we weren't the only ones in the room who were appalled at that specific situation.

It's incredibly sad and I feel really angry at the injustice there is in this state and in this world for children. To be fair, the state does some great things for kids and for that I am really grateful. It's the situations where it seems so backwards that make me so mad.

As one of my readers put it: It's emotionally taxing, and yet God is sufficient for all that we need. He already has been sufficient so why would He not continue to do so for us in this new journey?


Karen said…
In our state (PA) if the child is in care for 15 out of 22 months the county needs to pursue adoption. The problem is that the adoption laws do not necessarily match with the foster care laws. To terminate parental rights, the county must prove the parent unfit. And sometimes there hasn't been enough time in 15 months to demonstrate that termination should some cases do drag on forever! But others go very smoothly one way or another. We've learned so much in the past 3 years. And foster care can be very, very hard and at the same time very rewarding. I do remember going through training and being totally overwhelmed with information--then and the first few months of our first placement. The thing that helped me tremendously was making friends with other foster moms within our county agency. They were and are a wealth of information and support!
Linds said…
I totally agree-- the law is so frustrating. I remember learning about how hard it is to get parental rights severed (in even worse scenarios than what you described) and it made me SO mad.
Laura said…
I'm so proud of you! What huge hearts you have and you are answering the call God has placed in your hearts.


PS- We had some friends in the same class this weekend.
Miranda Comer said…
You're SO right! I worked at Head Start in Abliene & seen some of the worse life style for these kids. I've seen kids in good home being ripped away to be sent back to a "bad" parents. It's heart breaking to watch!
Paul Pennington said…
Hi Rebecca,
We are proud of you guys too. Reading your post I am reminded of what a good friend once said. " The Government makes a poor parent!". Praying that the Lord will raise up churches to love these families in crisis and provide family for those kids lost in the system. God's answer for spiritual and physical orphans is family.
The Hands said…
Rebecca and Jacob,
I just finished reading your book about Molly Ann. I ordered it this summer after hearing your story on Family Life Today. Thank you for sharing your story of joy and grief with Molly. Of course I cried...partly as I was feeling your grief.

My husband and I have three daughters and one son (newborn). Our third daughter was born with a congenital heart defect that almost took her life as an infant and will continue to cause hardship and possibly take her life.

I ordered your book because I felt like I could identify with you in a way. Even though my daughter is still here on earth, I feel that knowing her heart could fail her at anytime has caused me to grieve over the loss of the "ideal" child. She may have physical limitations. She may need a heart transplant in the future. She might not be able to carry her own children. Right now we are soaking up all the time that we have with her.

In buying your book, I wanted to see how you dealt with the grief. I appreciate your candidness about the steps that it takes...and feeling that it will never be completely gone.

I am a Christain and the Hope of seeing Jesus Christ has definately caused a change in my viewpoint of dying.

It's exciting to hear that you are expecting twins. I will be praying for a healthy and timely arrival. May you continue to find God' peace as you share the Hope of Jesus with those around you.
Angie Hand
KC said…
I have been through the pains of the foster care/adoption process. After being told by the state (VA) that I would have a little baby girl who was born and the mother left her on the floor to die, weighing less than 3 lbs and having a core temp of around 82 degrees above arrival at the ER...I was told she would be mine and even allowed to name her. I named her Hope. I prepared for her arrival although I knew she would be in the hospital for some time. Everything was in order... weeks went by and social services stopped calling...then wouldn't call me back...and then they told me they found a distant 2nd or 3rd cousin that would be taking the baby... The mother was charged, the father was in the US illegally and denied the child was his. I was so hurt and devestated by this, but I had to know it was God's plan.

About a year later I was told there was an unborn baby boy whose mother was a drug addict. She was willing to sign over parental rights to me immediately upon his birth. Within a few weeks of his birth she decided she wanted to keep him, although the state had removed 4 other children from her care, they let her make this choice...

A day before she was due she decided she wanted to do foster care so she could see him when she wanted to, but didn't have to "have" him all the time... emotional rollercoaster..

I still have no children, but know that Lord has a plan for me. I know I will most certainly continue to try, but I did have to take some time away from the emotional rollercoaster to heal.

God bless you and Jacob and your two precious little girls that will be here soon.

Thank you so much for taking the time to share with us.

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