By Diane Ponist
Thanksgiving this year in our household was a huge deal. We have 5 brand new members of our family sitting at the table to take part with us for their first time. This is why I wanted a big family, for each of them to appreciate what has happened in their life and watch them on holidays enjoying having multiple siblings. But it was kind of bitter sweet.
We made a big thing of the holiday and starting new traditions. All 6 of them loved the idea of unlimited food for the whole day, they smiled continually. Then for the next few days we decorated for Christmas, the excitement as you can imagine, escalated even more. But there was always that dark cloud that sat with us.
As we began shopping and playing Santa for their first Christmas with us, my mind was racing. I kept questioning if there is a point in going all out when all bets could be off between now and December 25th. We have a court date coming up and before we know it, what happens at court can change everything.
Our 3rd Foster child, we’ll call him “George” for safety reasons, has been involved in a huge investigation. We knew when we got the call for him to be placed with us that he was sexually abused by another male. We knew that from his sexual abuse he contracted the HPV virus. We also knew that his bio had full knowledge of this and probably was fully involved. What we didn’t know is that we’d have to worry so much of him going back to that home.
The issue is his bio is fighting tooth and nail to get him back. But the bio thinks that if she fights enough, like she did for her previous children she lost for a short time, he will return also. All siblings were removed at different times for neglect. So obviously we are extremely concerned of his safety.
We assumed months ago that our only issue down the road would be us explaining his STD to him and that he contracted it at only 4 years old. Never once did I think that it would ever come down to him going back with all the abuse that he endured. The investigation is tough; he just turned 5 years old and is shy when alone with strangers. He has opened up to me on multiple occasions behind closed doors, he told me who the man is who hurt him. The man has since been arrested but that only came out with the trust he feels at our home. The detectives are doing their job, but without reassurance from people George knows, he is having trouble even speaking to the officials about the whole truth. What he told me means nothing unless he tells them himself.
When all is said and done, this year is major year for us growing as fast as we did before the holidays. In one aspect you want to spoil them and promote what holidays really mean in our house. On the other hand, you don’t want them to have guilt of the happiness they are feeling away from their biological family. I know, I know, people always say give them the best now, hopefully they will remember it and will make them a better person. But what if it doesn’t is it always worth that risk? Is it worth us setting ourselves up for disappointment or them never having again what they’ve had with us? Who knows but the one person in the black robe behind the bench? Somehow every foster child is at the whim of one persons’ decision on their fate. The unknown of what could or could not happen seems to always haunt every happy moment within our bearings.