Fostering Babies Is Difficult

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.

Why Did You Adopt ?

My husband and I made a conscious decision not to adopt when we had been trying unsuccessfully to conceive.  I believe our main concern was that uncertainty factor.  We decided that we preferred to start “fresh” using an alternative form of medicine (obviously the main response to the question in the survey above).

Many adoptive parents are driven by altruistic reasons – it is not because of infertility – but they truly would like to be there in a positive way for a child who they believe needs them.  It is a form of rescuer or savior motivation.

DIA is not through an agency but is a disclosed identified party adoption aka an open adoption.  The inconvenient truth is that regardless of the type of adoption –  agencies are manipulative, hopeful adoptive parents are clueless and often blinded by their own wants, expectant mothers are coerced into giving up their babies because they are led to the false belief it will be better for their infant, and infants experience tremendous trauma when they are separated from their original mother. The whole system of adoption is sadly a mess.

Hopeful adoptive parents usually have good intentions, even if they are blinded to more selfish and personally oriented reasons for adopting.   Wanting to be a parent and acting on that is a selfish decision via adoption, regardless of how you get there.  These adoptive parents may have more than they need for just their own selves.  They want to share from their abundance because for some people sharing feels good.

Many original mothers were  forced. One example that I read about – she was told either she place her son for adoption or they were going to report her to Child Protective Services – she was in extreme poverty, she did not have a job, she was depressed, unmarried and her my son was originally conceived through a man no longer in the picture. She was told she wasn’t good enough to raise her own son and that he deserved better.

It is important to change the narrative about adoption – it is not a beautiful circumstance. It is damaging and painful and should only happen in the very rarest of circumstances, and then it should be within the family, if possible (and honestly, it usually is possible).  I am pro-reunification.  It is important that the pain of separation is not permanent if at all possible.  My perspectives on adoption, I will admit, have gone 180 and mostly against.  There are exceptions, of course, and good ones.