By Diane Ponist
A recent lesson learned: never hold anything in and never hold back. Keeping quiet even though you have an inkling that something isn’t right could be all the difference in the world. Especially as a foster parent. It’s the only way to truly protect a child.
After returning from a visit at his bio home, our foster son “George” told us he was being sent back to his bio mom. We had no idea this was about to take place until he told us. Knowing the story of his past experiences, we thought it can’t be true! We told him he must have misheard it.
That first night back with us, with the threat of leaving on his mind, George was just not himself. We couldn’t put a smile on his face. The next morning he woke up saying his back hurt. Kristin, my wife, lifted his shirt to check. He had bumps, almost like pimples, all over the top of his back and shoulders. The stress of leaving us was literally coming out of his skin.
That morning we called his therapist, needing answers. The therapist confirmed what George had told us, that his bio was probably going to get him back. The dangers George experienced in his bio home were, according to the investigation, no longer going to be an issue.
Hoping this was true, we tried to comfort George. We tried to tell him that it would be safer now.
But then George shared new details – details that contradicted the investigation results, details about experiences he had. He was terrified to go back.
We immediately filed a report with Humane Services. We had started to prepare ourselves to let him go, because he had come a long way in a short time with us. But once more truth came out, we went into extreme protective mode. We shouldn’t be worrying about him leaving. But we were; the evidence of danger was too real.
We learned from talking to case workers that not everything relayed was originally reported in the investigation. But now, after communicating everything –personally- to all involved in the case, and the details George had just shared with us, everyone was on board. Everyone finally understood that our concerns for George’s safety were valid.
Humane Services is demanding further evidence before sending George to his bio home. We are ecstatic.
George does not lie, despite pressure in his past to do so. Thankfully, he feels comfortable enough with us to share the truth, and in turn, we can protect him.
The court hearing was a few days ago. George is staying with us! The new information was shared with the judge who agreed that George should not at this time return to his bio home.
Because he felt safe enough to share the truth of his past experiences, George can rest comfortably with us, and we can breathe again.
My Foster Parent’s Pledge
I promise to keep you safe, for as long as the system will allow me.
I promise that while in my home you will never go hungry.
I promise now that we have met, I will protect you in every aspect of life.
I promise that I will help right your every wrong without prejudice.
I promise that you will be able to close your eyes in my house without fear of tomorrow.
I promise that I will give you the very best that you deserve.
I promise that you will feel the love that you should have felt long ago.
I promise to treat you as if you were my child from birth for the rest of your life, even if your stay is temporary.