(And, especially, the last year and a half, and even more specifically, about the super tough period of time at the beginning of the year when we had The Brothers. )
I understand the need to look for reasons as to why things are the way they are in my household right now. I really do. The recent departure of the Teenager to go out on her own and make less than stellar life choices has shaken everyone up, but no one more than me, her mother.
However, blaming foster care and the addition of the two boys early this year isn’t one hundred percent fair. What people need to remember is that taking The Brothers back in was a family decision, made one hundred percent in total agreement with every person who lives here, except SB, because he was too small. Same with the decision to foster. We agreed. We were interviewed by therapists for HOURS to judge whether or not our family was strong enough to take on this burden.
Is this hard? Hell yes! Is it harder than any of us ever imagined? Yes. Did I lose my way and become consumed at times with the world of foster care? Yep. Did my bio kids lose out on some mom time because of this, especially during the time when we had The Brothers? Yep.
Now, let’s balance that with this. My kids have had safe, stable, loving parents their whole lives. They had a foundation with which to steady themselves on while we went through this. My kids were checked in with frequently about how things were going, and Hubs and I received regular input and feedback about what we were doing right, and what needed to change. And we made those changes to the best of our ability. We struggled, together, to make this the best it could be. And sometimes, the best just plain sucked. And sometimes, miracles happened. And we got to see them unfold.
You know what? We came through it. I know, without a sliver of doubt, that my children are all better people. They know perserverence, and redemption, and finding joy in small things. Even the one who is mad at us and is using some of the failures of the last two years as an excuse to justify poor decision making.
Our kids saw us struggle, they saw us fail, they saw us cry. There were HUGE lessons learned. They also saw us continue to put one foot in front of the other, and to NOT GIVE UP, to stay centered in faith. Because in our family, we don’t give up on people (Not even when they poop on the floor. On purpose.).
Not even on the Teenager, who is in our thoughts and prayers every second of every day as she embarks on her own journey. She knows she has a safe place to fall. Right now, she wants to do things the hard way, and I am powerless to stop her. But I can love her, better than she will ever understand until she is a mother herself. And I will never stop. Just like I never stopped loving any of the children, biological or not, who have come and gone or stayed.
Was this the right choice or our family? Yes. There’s a lot I would change, but you learn by doing, just like all parents. I’d do it better if I did it again, with what I know now. Wouldn’t we all?
What I do know is 99% of the time. I did my best. I gave the best I could, as long as I could, as much as I could. I still am.
I’m satisfied with that, and in my humble opinion, anyone looking in on this from the outside should be as well.