Monday, March 17, 2014

"Would you keep us if you could?"

5 minutes before bed time last night, H is brushing her teeth, and I'm on my computer catching up on emails. Then I hear the chatter stop between her and A. Next I hear the scariest words of foster parenting from H.

"Would you keep us if you could?"

I immediately turned around and waited for her to come into my room, then I asked her if she meant adoption. She said yes and in my heart, I cried. I wasn't ready for this question, we have talked over the past few weeks about all the options facing them and who they could end up with. They both know there is a strong possibility that they will be split and each go their own ways, with different relatives. Most of our conversations have been positive about those scenarios.

Then A pops into the room and waits for me to answer. My brain is rushing and I'm working to find both the truth and the gentleness this conversation needs. 

See, I'm not an adoption home. My heart is fostering. My focus is getting kids to go back home or have a new home to stay forever. I'm 26 years old and single, not a prime candidate to adopt a 13 and 10 year old. I already love these girls, there is no doubt in my mind that I could easily see us all staying together, them growing up and me cheering them on. But is that what they need? A woman who is too young to be a "real" mom for them, whose heart has never even dreamed of giving up fostering for adoption? And I can't even imagine the pain of being given to someone else. I mean, I get that their mom messed up bad, but she is paying for that, and I truly desire that she is given the opportunity to clean herself up and turn it around. Its what I would want if I was in her shoes. 

So I told the truth. I said that if I knew that it was the best thing for them, that I would want to adopt them. But at this point, it wasn't the best thing. A's dad wants her. H's mom still has a chance. Being raised by their parents who love them but aren't perfect is still what is best for them. 

The end result was H saying that she would want her mom to get the house across the street that is for sale so she could stay here. Then A pipes in that she wants that also so she can keep "her really awesome room" at which point I gently reminded her that her dad wants her to live with him. Then she reminded me that she is still thinking about that and we all had a good laugh at her using my own words against me. That is my phrase for her "Just keep thinking about it. Don't say yes, don't say no, until you are surely for sure"

Team meeting with the various family members on Wednesday. I'm worried about what is going to happen there.

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