Sunday, February 8, 2009

The $64,000 Question

My DW asked me today and I don't have an answer.

Before I get to that.......(S) and I went sledding in the front yard today. It was a lot of fun. For a kid who wouldn't go near the snow last year, she is really enjoying it now. We went down together and on our own. She went down sitting and prone and seemed to love it best when the sled tipped over and she got covered with snow. She had snow pants on. I didn't. I got wet. Go figure...

Anyway, the question.....Assuming we don't adopt (S) and she leaves to go to another home, is she going to think we don't love her and don't want her or don't care about her?

She has no recollection of living with anyone other than us. While she doesn't call us mom and dad, she knows no other home. When she was with her parents, they lived in the woods for a while and with different relatives on and off. She was only 2 when she was remoevd from the home.

We want her to have youthful parents who she can spend a full life with but we don't want her to think we don't love her, want her, or care about her. That brings us to the second part of the question: Does the answer to the first question matter enough to make us change our mind? I don't think so.

We certainly didn't bargain for this. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens. I am sure it will work out the way it is supposed to. I just don't want to do anything to hurt (S).


  1. That question is the most agonizing part of doing Foster Care. But I think she will understand that you love and care about her. Kids know who really care about them.

  2. Once you know what the plans are going to be, you should be able to work on transition plans and an age-appropriate explanation (and maybe some contact after the move or adoption) so that she understands it wasn't that you don't want her or don't care about her. In general, having made a really good first attachment (learning how to love and trust and be in a family) is supposed to help the child make a really good second attachment. (Just as people who've had great first marriages are more likely to find happy second marriages.) But I imagine how the transition is handled matters a lot.


  3. Two of my kids had foster families that were GREAT (like yours). My daughter was with her last foster family for 2 years. We still stay in touch with them (and we have had Tara for 2.75 years). We actually, just took out their photo album and shared them with her brothers today. My son Gabrio was with his last foster family for 1.5 yrs. They were really wonderful and we also stay in touch with them. Since he was younger and relatively attached to them, he asked them why they wouldn't adopt him and they told him that they were his "getting ready for adoption" family. He was sad for about a week after placement with us but once he realized that he can talk to them whenever he wants and that we will still get to see them every once in a while, he was fine. Both of those families are like extensions of our family for our kids. They will probably always be part of their lives. Toby had a bad foster family. He doesn't want anything to do with them and vice versa.

  4. I think that is the million dollar question...

    Are there right or wrong answers?

    I do think that "if" you decided that you cant adopt S then it would be really great if you could have some contact....

  5. This is where attachment issues come in. There is no easy answer, but maybe continued visits with you and your wife will be best for her attachment?? So sad, but so many good parents are wanting to adopt.

  6. I've thought about that a lot especially if we get a child that is a little order and might ask those questions. Since we are only fostering to 3 maybe up to 4 years old I had planned to say that we love them very much but that we have to take care of other little girls and boys now. That they are so special because a family picked just them and that family needs them.

    Easy to say, hard to convey...especially if you are explaining it to a heartbroken child, but that is the best response I can think of.