Pre-Adoptive Foster Placement Failure: The Why
I have been struggling all week trying to deal with what happened the last several weeks in regard to the failed pre-adoptive placement of J & M. To put it in round terms and not be terribly specific the only thing I can say with any authority is that I believe they are both pretty severe RAD * children. (I was never given this diagnosis for them; this is totally my opinion from my own experience.) J & M are victims of unthinkable neglect; which of course put me into high gear immediately. I want to help, I want to fix, I want to make it better.
Unfortunately we discovered over the course of a couple weeks that we are not going to be able to give them what they need. In order to attempt this huge feat and survive myself, I knew one cost to make it happen would be to put all the kids in public school…and even then I’m not sure that we would all come out the other end sane. E & N could go to public school for a few more years…but secondary school is pretty much out of the question in my mind. What then? E & N's need for attention is already pretty high. How could we continue to fill their emotional cups every day and do the work it would take too to get J & M what they need? B & HJ have no desire whatsoever to go to public high school. (They witnessed it with me at the parent meeting at North yesterday for D's orientation. The girls practically RAN from the building afterward.) To make them go to public high school at this point is heart breaking to me. I could not do that. We had to make a difficult decision. I had to admit I do have limits to what I can do. ("Son, your ego is writing checks your body can't cash.") I’m sure you can imagine how devastating that is.
One good thing I guess I can say I discovered in this process is I now know what my limits are. I can better articulate to our Foster Care Specialist what we are able to do, what type of child we can help. What strengths and weaknesses I have as a parent. Before, I basically said bring it on, anything and everything, I'll do it.
The most awesome thing did come out of the experience though too… an online homeschool friend and I had been texting back and forth about her pre-adoptive children for some time. Actually since before they had custody. This friend reached out to me in the midst of this mess with J & M (One of those zero sleep days.) and asked for advice about her RAD child. If I had not been in the throes of it myself, I’m not sure what I would have said to her. I probably would have been pretty wishy-washy not wanting to speak with any authority on the situation. Because I was hip deep with J & M the moment she contacted me I spoke boldly. I told her to go right to her children’s team and speak to them that moment. Be honest and open and tell them everything that is happening, what isn’t working and ask them to advise you how to proceed.
Yesterday afternoon as I was pushing a cart dragging myself through Target…totally dejected, weak, tired, worn from this experience…I got a text from her. The issue had been resolved! Decisions had been made and plans were in action. I had such great joy in that moment for her and her family…THIS was the why...it made all the heartache over J & M worth it. The timing of it all could not be coincidental. God is good. His timing is perfect. His plans are always far better than my own. To him, all the Glory.
Don’t be afraid to follow your heart, to take that huge step out into the unknown. Be a foster parent. Be an adoptive parent. Get out there and make a difference. Don’t listen to the excuses the enemy tries to whisper in your ear. Don’t be thwarted by the opinions of others. This is your life and you live it as you know you should.