Friday, October 20, 2006

We've changed our tune? Really, we've just changed.

Niblet's transition to her dad is going really, really well. Last week he had her for 4 days and she came back happy to see us, but not crying. Her first night back with us wasn't unusually hard. She had a cold, so really it was just the congestion that was bothering her.

Now she's with him for 5 days. We get her back for 2, then she goes back to him for 6 days and comes back to us for 1 final day.

Fostermama was saying the other night that Niblet doesn't live with us anymore. Some of her stuff is here, and we are here, but she really lives with her dad.
It's such a change from 1 year ago.

1 year ago, her parents had missed 8 visits in a row and had their visits cancelled.
1 year ago, chances were high we'd be able to adopt her.
1 year ago we took her into our house with the intention to raise her/think of her as our own almost from day 1.

Since then, so much has changed. Her mom "disappeared", her dad decided to "try" and get her back himself. We didn't feel positive about this at all. Obviously we wanted to raise her ourselves (really, if you ever met this kid, you'd want to, too), but we also felt scared for her. We felt like it would be a huge mistake for him to raise her himself.

But even that's changed, lately. He's not going to raise her like we would, but he loves her and isn't stupid (which was questionable at times) and does want us to be in her life in some way (at least for a while).

We were at our foster parent support group recently and were talking about how it's not a horrible thing that she's going to live with him. How that's really the *goal* of foster care and how everything really did work out the way the system says it's supposed to. Yes, the dad was given too much time, but not more than is federally allowable.

One of the other parents there commented "wow, you've really changed your tune". And I suppose that's the case. But, really, we've just changed. Period.

We are not the same people, the same parents, we were 1 year ago. Raising Niblet, helping Niblet, fixing Niblet, and letting her go...have all been life-altering.
Now we're looking forward to moving along with a domestic private adoption AND continuing fostering as often as we can. 1 year ago we were committed to adopting through fostercare (and hoping to adopt Niblet).

We're planning on taking a breather once Niblet is fully gone. No placements. Just adult time to relax, sleep, get to know each other and ourselves again, spend time with our friends and our friends' kids more, etc.

But we both know that we're going to miss having a baby around, miss fostering, and if they call us with a placement in that first month or 2, it will be very, very hard to say no. After that, I'm not sure what we'll say....


KittyBean said...

I too gave back a fost/adopt child, I didn't have her very long, but it doesn't take long to fall in love. Her parents really shouldn't have gotten her back, and a few years later they did have TPR. She's safe now and that is what matters. You just can't be sad forever. We're inline to do private domestic adoption this time though, I don't think I could relinquish again.
If Niblet's dad is proving himself to you so that you feel comfortable, it is your dream that you are giving up, not Niblet's & not her parents. In so many ways, letting go can be the right thing. I'm glad to see you are accepting it, although I know that some days that is easier than others.

Co said...

I'm so glad that you are feeling more confident about Niblet's dad. It's still going to hurt like h-e-two-sticks when she leaves, but knowing that she will be cared for--that she's not going back into a horrible, frightening situation--must be a huge comfort.


Anonymous said...

I commend you for being able to do this.

I chose international adoption for many reasons, but this was one of them- having to return a child I'd grown to love.

I'm glad there are folks like you in the world for kids who need it.

I wish you well as you continue your adoption efforts.

FosterMommy said...

Although international adoption is a "sure thing" in that way, our situation is very different than anything you'd come across in domestic private adoption. This is foster care. The goal is reunification with the biological family. Our county has people who count their chickens...and then tell people a baby will be TPRed or relinquished when, in fact, the parents still many months left to get their act together.

Foster care is usually all about loving and then letting go.

When we get matched with a pregnant woman who is considering adoption, the chances are about 50/50 that she'll decide to parent. Once she's given birth, the chance is about 80% that we'll be able to adopt the baby. And in our state, the parents have 30 days to change their mind.

So, by no stretch of the imagination would we have a baby for more than 30 days (45 if we were going thru a laywer only) and then have to give it up. Which is much better than a year.

Anonymous said...

Let's many times have we said we needed to take a break?

After Carl, after Ann, and after David?

Of course I take careof kids who are permanent placement fosterkids, so it is different. Still, that taking a break thing is really important.

And then comes the next phone call.

Lionmom said...

You are handling this with grace. I know I went crazy when our first twins left (not to parents, but to a family member). We still see them on their birthday and maybe once in between each year. This helped save my sanity. Now it's nice but not so crucial. Now we have our forever kids and it was the right thing for us. But I remember the pain of letting go. Stick to your guns about taking a break. Our next placement was too soon and it made the hurt bigger.

Yankee, Transferred said...

Over here via Gawdessness. You are really wonderful people. Although I know the goal is always reunification in foster care, it must be really hard. Good luck on the adoption front. Stop by my blog and visit sometime. My partner and I have three adopted daughters, now 18, 18, and 14, all domestic. One through a private agency, one through a public agency, and one who just needed a home and we knew her so now she's ours.

Julie said...

I know some of what you are feeling. It is weird how we change our tune. Just goes to show that we never really were in control of the situation in the first place. Our hearts dug in deep and then were pulled away. I am thankful that Niblet had a good transition- I think that would be easier on you in the long run. You dont' have to wonder so much. You have loved her well and that is all anyone can ask for. i hope you get to stay in contact with her on some level. Prayers for you!