Every year around the holidays, we, as foster parents, expect bio families to pop up, more so than we do the rest of the year.
For foster parents, at least for us, we dread this time emotionally in some ways. During this time of year, we wonder if its right that bio parents show up to see their children, only to let them down when they must leave. Not to mention, we tend to worry that the bio parents are actually going to be around and then we readjust our schedules for their wants and needs.
This year we haven’t had a bio visit at all for the baby. She turned 2 in October and has no idea that we are not her bio family. Right before TPR this month, her bio mom asked to see her. So of course we make arrangements and scramble with how we can make this child comfortable for an hour with complete strangers. The night before the agreed meeting, the mother confirms. However, the next morning, Kristin asks the case worker if it would be acceptable to finally meet the bio face to face. The case worker then told Kristin that the bio parent cancelled the visit. Thankfully, the baby is too young to have any idea what had just occurred.
Natalie on the other hand had a visit with her father a few days before Christmas. He has been off and on with visits since Natalie’s bio mom was denied parole for what they did to Natalie. Yes, he still has visits for now. Apparently the law reads that he is allowed to see his own children that he abused; he’s just not allowed around other children that are not genetically connected to him. He showed up and gave her a doll for Christmas along with candy; mind you she is fresh off a G-tube and only taking formula because of her injuries. So we had a few days of an uneasy stomach from her due to the stress caused from seeing him.
Then we have toddler number 3, which is officially our next child to adopt in a couple months. Carmen has been doing extremely well. He hasn’t seen his bio mom in over 6 months and at the last court date she was told by the judge that her rights are terminated. She incidentally was intoxicated during the court hearing and has no recollection of what occurred. Right before Christmas, she asked the case worker if we can now do an open adoption. She stated that she wants Carmen every weekend and for every holiday. The case worker told her that it’s done and that she lost any rights that she had and Carmen is now being adopted.
Overall, we were able to hide and surpass all of the stress and keep the smiles going. Just like many of you, we blew the holidays out of proportion just to make the kids as excited as possible. Foster parents are like super heroes that do not get half the credit that they deserve. We take these holiday pictures and all you see is happiness. The real truth is that most people do not understand that the shell you see in those picture is hiding what is really going on. As we watch the children opening everything that they asked Santa for, we know what’s important to us in that moment; it’s what is right in front of us. We fight back tears at the thought of what we have to hide from these children so they can have true holiday spirit and joy without infliction.