One of the hardest things to do was to let them go home to their natural parents but that’s what we as foster parents have signed up for. It’s what foster families are suppose to do. But the urge to parent and fall in love with babies is a strong one, even if you didn’t birth them.
A foster parent writes – Today’s the day I realized I can’t do this. Most of the 20+ foster kids we have had were teens who stayed with us until they decided otherwise. This is the first time we have fostered babies and today I realized this will be the placement that breaks me.
I went to the hospital and picked the twins up 2 weeks after they were born, my home was their first home. They have had 3 visitations from their biological parents, who are trying to get them back. I have had them for 4 months now and my family is the family they know.
Today the twins had a doctor’s appointment and their biological parents showed up. No one knew they were coming, so it was just me with the parents and the babies. During the appointment the babies cried and reached for me but the biological parent wasn’t having it and would try to soothe them. It was like watching a stranger try to comfort my own child.
Today, I wanted nothing more than to hold these babies and tell them it would all be ok and today I was told I couldn’t. Today was the day it really set it that they won’t stay with me. Today’s the day my heart shattered. Today is the day that being a foster parent sucks.
First things first. This foster parent was immediately given a reality check.
What got to me was her saying “they were reaching for me!” Babies don’t reach at 16 weeks…my daughter can barely control her arm movements yet. It’s so delusional!!
My daughter is 6 months and I didn’t even catch that but yes! She didn’t start reaching for her dad and I until this month.
I was thinking that too! That’s so little to be reaching!
Babies at 16 weeks know who mom is instinctively and recognize caregivers but they don’t even show a preference.
The only one who was ‘reaching’ was the delusional foster parent.
And well . . . I’m sure it must have been a painful experience for their birth mother too. Let’s hope that whatever agency is handling the return of the twins to their parents will help you and the parents to work out a transitioning period during which they can come back to feeling “at home” with their parents again. It takes lots of generosity of spirit by all the adults concerned, but it is possible–and possible to do well, for the twins’ benefit. (Said from experience.)
Our infant fosterlove was crying and crying in her mom’s arms at a social services meeting. So instead of just letting the baby scream I asked the mom if I could help. I showed her how her daughter liked being held like a football and bounced. Then I handed the baby back and had her comfort her. I reminded her that she will figure that all out once she goes home. She thanked me and it led to us having a good relationship while her daughter was with us. We had her until she was 14 months.
Such a despicable lot. So glad these smug, self-serving members of the male gender are gone now. This morning I’ve been reading in The Guardian an article by Jacqueline Rose titled “Damage: the silent forms of violence against women.” How does this relate to adoption ? It reminds me of The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – making women carry babies in the hopes that infertile, Christian couples will be able to adopt their baby.
I am unabashedly pro-Choice. Not that I like abortions. I’ve had one and it has haunted me the rest of my life – even though it was legal, even though I still feel justified by the circumstances – the pro-Life contingent has caused my heart to sorrow even so. I am a mother – 3 times now. I’ve seen my babies growing in my womb on ultrasounds. I’m not immune to the sentimentality of baby stuff. However, no women should be allowed to die from a poorly performed illegal abortion. And to be brutally honest – no woman should be forced to incubate a baby that she cannot afford and does not want to raise. 9 months of her income producing life potentially cut short. For many, a kind of non-COVID lockdown to preserve their future prospects, if they do decide to relinquish their baby to adoption. And my constant bottom line is this – the planet is already over-populated. There is no need to produce more humans than are being naturally produced by willing carriers already.
Thankfully, one of President Biden’s early acts in office was to rescind this executive order of Trump’s.
In June 2019, Kate Gilmore, the UN deputy commissioner for human rights, described US policy on abortion as a form of extremist hate that amounts to the torture of women. “We have not called it out in the same way we have other forms of extremist hate,” she stated, “but this is gender-based violence against women, no question.”
It is a characteristic of such mostly male violence – “violence regnant”, as it might be termed, since it represents and is borne by the apparatus of state – that it always presents itself as defending the rights of the innocent. These men are killers. But their murderousness is invisible – to the world (illegal abortions belong to the backstreets) and to themselves. Not even in their wildest dreams, I would imagine, does it cross their minds that their decisions might be fueled by the desire to inflict pain. Neither the nature nor the consequences of their actions is a reality they need trouble themselves about. Such violence in our time thrives on a form of mental blindness.
Violence is a form of entitlement. Unlike privilege – which can be checked with a mere gesture, as in “check your privilege”, and then left at the door – entitlement goes deeper and at the same time is more slippery to grasp. As if hovering in the ether, it relies for its persistence on a refusal to acknowledge that it is even there.
I’ve often been glad I wasn’t born a male. It must be an awful burden at times. No man comfortably possesses masculinity (any more than, other than by killing, one person is in total possession of anyone else). Indeed, such mastery is the very delusion that underpins the deranged and most highly prized version of masculinity on offer. Prowess is a lie, as every inch of mortal flesh bears witness. But like all lies, in order to be believed, it has to be endlessly repeated.
If sexual violence arises from a form of tunnel vision, and from burying those aspects of the inner life that are most difficult to acknowledge or see, it is also the case that raising violence to the surface of public consciousness is not always transformative in the ways we would want it to be. Recognizing an injustice, and bringing it to the world’s attention, is no guarantee that the offence will be obliterated and justice prevail.
Trans experience, also the target of violence, belongs here, too, as it clearly binds the issue of sexuality to that of political struggle – freedom achieved and withheld. Despite being far more widely accepted than ever before, transgender people are still being killed for daring to present the world with the mostly unwelcome truth that sexual identity is not all it is cut out to be. Not everyone comfortably belongs on the side of the inaugurating sexual divide where they originally started, or to which they were first assigned. Some cross from one side to the other, some see themselves as belonging on neither side, others on both (these options are by no means exhaustive). Sexuality creates havoc. Kicking it back into place – a doomed project – is one way in which an oppressive culture tries and fails to lay down the law.
“Supremacist feminism” is the Spanish sister term to “feminazis”, coined by the late US rightwing radio host Rush Limbaugh to describe radical feminists – who, he claimed, “want to see as many abortions as possible”. In September 2019, protesters in more than 250 towns and cities across Spain declared a “feminist emergency” after a series of high-profile rape cases and a summer in which 19 women were murdered by current or former partners (the worst figures for more than a decade).
“We’re only saying what everyone is thinking” is the common justification and refrain. They wrap themselves in the mantle of redemption, as if they were saving the world from burning injustice (righteousness raised to the pitch of frenzy is the particular skill of the far right). We are all subjects of violence, not least because we are embedded in a violent social world. There is always a point in any ethical position or turn – the struggle against injustice, the fight for a better, less violent order – where it starts and stutters, trips and breaks, before setting out on its path once more.
If we do not make time to think about the causes of violence, we will do nothing to end violence in the world, while we will surely be doing violence to ourselves by complicity.
The article from which most of today’s blog is taken is a long one but can be read at the title linked at the beginning of this blog.
Money drives adoption and the poor are unsupported. I believe society should fully support mothers until the children reach maturity so that they have the means to raise them. Too often mothers lose custody of their children for no other reason than poverty.
The adoption laws are skewed to support adoptive parents – because they have the money. The laws are skewed to support the industry – agencies, social workers and lawyers – because they are profiting from it. No one seems to truly care about the child or the child’s original mother. This is just so very wrong and contributes to damaged individuals that become a burden, though not intending to, upon society.
American domestic infant and international adoption has become privatized and entrepreneurial. Only adoption from foster care remains in the hands of the state and unfortunately represents its own set of failures, abuses and funding driven corruption.
The difference between for- and not-for-profit adoption agencies is merely a tax status, though the later gives an illusion of a charitable organization. Coupled with warm, fuzzy, cutesy names that tug at the heartstrings, clients are deluded into a false sense of propriety, oversight and security. The fact is that both types of agencies are commercial businesses that rely on the fees of a completed transaction to pay their overhead and salaries which is less glamorous and far less altruistic than the public perception of adoption. All vetting and home studies are paid for by the clients seeking a child. Basically, anyone who can afford the fees, which average about $40,000, can adopt, including pedophiles and abusers of all kinds. Pay the fee and get the goods. It’s a supply and demand business in a mega-billion dollar a year industry.
In addition to businesses that fill a demand for children to adopt, there is also the Do-It-Yourself type of adoption that is legally permitted in the U.S. Those seeking to find an infant to adopt, as well as anyone seeking to place a child for adoption, can find one another through newspaper advertisements, and online via Craig’s List or social media such as Facebook, and have their attorney handle necessary filings to make the adoption legal. Just like a “For Sale by Owner” house listing, middlemen “finder” fees are avoided by the DIY method. But, so too are any protections and any professional advice said fees may offer.
In either case – on your own or with the assistance of an adoption agency – the process winds up resulting in prospective couples matched with expectant mothers which, opens the door to unhealthy, unequal relationships.
Today is my youngest sister’s birthday but we are estranged due to her hostility towards me which cause is her mental illness. I read about this book in a recent Time magazine. It is listed as one of the 10 best nonfiction books for 2019. I bought it so that I might understand what has happened to my youngest sister better. This may seem like an odd topic for this blog but actually it is highly relevant.
I’ve only started reading the first essay but I was struck by this statistic – People diagnosed with schizophrenia are more likely to be born in the winter than in the summer – perhaps due to maternal infection during pregnancy. I have previously written about intergenerational transmission of trauma. There is a high likelihood of that in my family with both parents being adoptees.
Biological features may mark a susceptibility to already established disorders as well as what types of stressors are most likely to transform those susceptibilities into illness. I suspect that my sister was always vulnerable. Something happened to her at some point that caused a marked downturn in her mental health from which she has not yet and may never re-emerge. She spent some time homeless, which is itself a stressor and I believe caused some of her delusions as she attempted to justify her unconventional lifestyle.
My sister also gave up her only child for adoption. Adoption was a natural condition in our family even though I now know it is not natural by any stretch of the imagination. Still, it was her choice from the moment she was aware she was pregnant. I’ve often wondered now that I know more about mother/child separations if this has been an additional stressor.
She speaks of a subsequent pregnancy that was murdered within her. I doubt that one also took place but one never knows with her. One of the ways I have coped with her odd mental functioning is to simply listen without judging the validity of what she tells me because I believe some truth always lies within the stories but the interpretation of the meaning of those stories is off in some manner.
In a review of the book I am reading, I saw this question –
Is there some inner self that lies beyond the reaches of mental illness, a consciousness that disease makes invisible but leaves intact ?
Because I do believe in an eternal consciousness that is ever evolving through a variety of physical lifetime experiences, I do believe there is a witness who knows all of the whys and wherefores.