Thursday, September 6, 2012

My Heart Aches

So typically when I'm quiet on here it is because things are getting crazy in the world of foster mom-ing.  This time my quietness is due to pulling a muscle in my neck/shoulder, which leaves me wanting nothing more than my bed and pain meds as soon as I get home.  I did it cleaning out a closet over Labor Day weekend.  Not much incentive to ever do that again!  My neck still hurts (a lot) as I type.  But it is the craziness of the foster world that is making me break my silence because I just need to scream.  And vent.  And tell you that I am so mad right now.  And beyond frustrated.  And so annoyed that I can't just tell you the whole story. 

We are at another one of those moments where I say, "I didn't think this would be the hard part." as I wipe tears from my face as I cry in my car on my lunch break.  We always thought that the kids would be the hard part.  Dealing with their behavior.  Falling in love to only have them be reunited with their birth parents. 

The truth is the kids aren't the problem.  First of all, they are super cute!

Here's proof!
 Second, we have made so many huge strides in behavior, development and bonding.  It is really becoming more fun than work to hang out with them.  Finally, we aren't at the point where they are being reunited with their birth parents, so no heartbreak... yet.

The source of the frustration?  The system. 

The most annoying part?  That it is happening again.

In fact, the system has made me (and the hubby) so mad that the thought of quitting this fostering journey has crossed our minds.  Side note: Quitting means giving the boys back to the county to find another foster family willing to endure this craziness.  And this makes me LIVID.  That thought should never come into our minds.  It especially should not occur as a result of the system.  IWe don't want to do this.  It would only hurt the boys.  And as we have covered previously, they are not the problem so they definitely don't deserve for us to give up on them now.  But things have gone beyond crazy and I need to evaluate my sanity.  I have a job that I need to keep.  A life that I need to live.  And this case is taking over every aspect of my life.  And it isn't getting better.  In fact, things are getting worse!

So I'm sure you want to know how things have gotten crazy.  And that is where this post sucks because I can't give you details.  This is what I can say.  The court order has been violated- multiple times.  Issues have been escalated.  And then escalated.  And then escalated some more.  We have been accused of things that are laughable if you know us at all.  Policy has been broken.  And then broken again.  And now?  The law has been broken.

I'm beyond disappointed.  I'm so frustrated that the system can't get its act together to provide the service that these boys deserve and need.  I don't want to give up on these boys, but the fight is exhausting (mentally and emotionally).  And when no one really seems to be committed to actually making it better, you begin to wonder if any changes will ever be made? 

My heart aches.



  1. Elissa,
    I am not sure if you remember me from college, but I have been fascinated by your posts I worked in foster care and I am amazed that you have taken this on. It is probably the most frustrating place to put yourself, and yet you have done it for the good of those boys. Bravo! The world needs more like you....and you have every right to want to scream.

    Take care.
    Kate (McCluskey) Campbell

    1. Of course I remember you! Hard to forget an awesome SK president! It is so interesting how many people are involved in the foster care system somehow. Thanks so much for your encouraging words! They really mean a lot! -e

  2. I hear ya, Mama! The past four years I have been doing foster-care have been a roller-coaster! to say the least. I can't even put into words the feelings! The ups and downs! The kids are NEVER the issue. I can deal with basic baby, toddler, kid issues. That is normal and all a part of the learning process. But when (hopefully) mature grown ups are the issue, people we expect to know better. It touches our extra special anger buttons. Just push through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. (I have said MANY prayers in the kids' behalf) You can't see it now, but it is there. Just keep pushing through for these sweet little guys. You are awesome! ~Angi

    1. Ha! Extra special anger buttons- that's definitely right! Thanks for your support!

  3. I'm sorry. We fostered for 6 years in the same state but not the same city as you. The children were rarely the problem- the system with it's infinite red-tape and nonsense was the problem. I was a social worker before I was a foster parent and between the two I am so burned out that I will never return to either. We cared for well over 100 children in those 6 years and the case that ended our fostering career was so bad, so horrible, and so senseless that I am still appalled. A ruthless and horrible social worker distorted the system to her own benefit and a little boy paid the price. The law was broken in our case as well and I ended up in court testifying against the social worker. That effectively ended our fostering career. Hang in there, take a deep breath, and keep detailed records of everything. Saying an extra prayer for you and the boys.

    Semi-Domesticated Mama

    1. Thank you so much for your support. While it is comforting to hear that we are not alone, it is hard to hear that what we are witnessing isn't the only broken piece of the system. These poor kids! Thanks again for your kind words.

  4. Saying a prayer for you and the boys! take care