By Diane Ponist
We did it. It took two years of fighting and more than almost any person could handle, but we did it. We dealt with prejudice, domestic disputes, case workers not doing their job, and more. At times we thought it’s not worth it, but we always found the strength to keep going. We never gave up for this child.
As you may already know, “Carmen” is a 3-year-old boy who we have been fostering for the past two years. He came to us as a respite from another foster home. After the initial 2-week time period passed, the supervisor asked if he could stay. A couple hours after that, we got another call asking if we would consider adopting him. This child came into our home and stole our hearts…we didn’t expect that to happen.
He was placed with us just before he turned two, and in a few months he will be four. We were, at times, afraid. We felt despair many times over his situation. There were moments when it was hard to look at him without seeing the taunting features of his bio parents.
We taught him all he knows, and showed him love. In our home, in our care, he was potty trained. He grew out of a high chair and a crib with us. We put him to bed every night, in his now big-boy bed. It is we who kiss his forehead.
But it is also us who were once told by a case worker that she would prevent us from adopting because we are a same sex couple. That same worker also had an issue with us being Caucasian while Carmen is of African American/Spanish descent.
We tried to mend a relationship with Carmen’s bio, but she pushed us away. We saw his case go to court several times promising for TPR, and we suffered constant disappointment. We dealt with the constant lies that were told to this poor child, and his ensuing meltdowns. We managed the continuous inconsistencies and excuses from the system.
After experiencing the absences of the child advocate and multiple case workers, we took matters into our own hands. As foster parents we had a duty: to put our own needs aside and get the job done for Carmen. We would not be intimidated, pushed around, or discriminated against.
Because of all this, we won the first battle to begin this child’s new life. The life every child deserves…to have a forever family. Thankfully, it is us.