Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Foster Care: Some Just Don’t Care

I know I shared a couple of weeks ago that we had an upcoming court date for the hopeful termination of Little Lady’s birth mom’s parental rights.  If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter, then you know what happened.  I totally forgot to write a blog post about it, though. 

Birth mom ended up relinquishing her rights at the very last minute.  I mean the very last minute.  So we now get to adopt Little Lady!  The foster agency granted one final “good bye” visit.  I was pretty mad.  She had a visit before the court date.  They knew we were going to trial.  The last one should have been her last visit. 

This woman is unstable and a drug abuser.  Not a good combination.  Birth mom specifically told them that she wanted the visit in a public place.  That got me very worried.  They ended up doing the visit in the playland of a local McDonalds. 

Everyone was so worried about birth mom doing something.  Even the caseworker made arrangements for other case workers to come the last 30 minutes of the visit just in case birth mom tried to take Little Lady or harm her.  So when the caseworker brought Little Lady home I asked if birth mom had done anything and if extra people showing up helped.

The caseworker told me that she ended up calling the agency and telling them that there was no need to have people come by to help.  She told the agency (and me) that birth mom was obviously high on something and very laid back and lucid so she didn’t seem like a threat.

UM, WHAT?!?!?!

When I asked the caseworker why she allowed the visit to continue I was told that it was the last one and to just suck it up.  She didn’t want the birth mom to be denied her “good bye” visit. 

Seriously?! 

Yes, unfortunately it is truly serious.  This is not the first time birth mom has been under the influence, noticeably high, or even observed getting high in the agency parking lot immediately before a visit and they still let the visit happen.  They don’t want to step on birth parents’ toes and be accused of violating any rights, but putting a toddler in the arms of an impaired person is apparently alright. 

Unfortunately this is the kind of thing that plagues good foster parents.  People too worried about addition paperwork or putting up a fight to protect a child.  The same people whose actual job is to protect the child. 

I believe every case file for a caseworker, lawyer, guardian ad litem, CASA volunteer, and judge should not be a standard file folder.  I think it should have a blown up picture of that child’s face on the front cover and inside.  So these people remember what there job is and who they are fighting for.  I know it becomes difficult and you have to harden yourself to protect yourself, but these children are more than a folder, case number, or case load.  They are special.

A friend, Molly, told me that anyone going into social work or the family court system should be required to be a foster parent at least once.  This way they can understand how bad the system is.  They can see it from the other side.  They learn about the child’s story and not just the summary page or a caseworker’s notes.  I totally agree. 

31 comments:

  1. WOW!!! These stories NEVER cease to amaze me! I have a cousin that adopted a daughter that she was a foster parent to. Then another child, that was from the same mother! It's just crazy to me that these "mothers" keep having babies and NOT TAKING CARE OF THEM. Just glad your story turned out well, even considering all this!!!!

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  2. Thankfully all seems to have ended well and looks like a finality has been achieved but the process seems very difficult and open to possible abuse. You must be relieved to have this behind you (as much as possible) so you can all make solid plans as you move into the future together.

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  3. WOW Kim...What a story...Praise JESUS you get to adopt her...What a beautiful reward from the LORD for your obedience...The foster care system out here in Vegas, basically....Hmmm, how can I put it...SUCKS!! They are terrible in every way and it saddens my heart because we've only been doing it a year and we are so drained!!!

    I'm trying to work with someone here in Vegas to change things...It's to big for me, but not to big for GOD...So, I figure why not make a few calls and see what happens...

    I'm so excited for you Kim...You have stayed faithful to the LORD and trusted in HIM!! That is what our walk with CHRIST is suppose to be about...Surrender! Don't you have Little Man? Isn't he Little Lady's brother? What will Little Lady's name be? Do tell, if you can...HA!

    I've attached my link to give you an update on my little Lovely...

    Love you in CHRIST Kim, all the way from Vegas....

    http://thenewyorkerthatlovesjesus.blogspot.com/p/fosteradoption-journey-current.html

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  4. What a wonderful future that little lady is going to have! So glad that you are able to move forward with adoption. She is very blessed to have you and your family advocating for her :)

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  5. First off, congrats on getting to adopt the Little Lady, that's simply wonderful!
    My mom is a social worker here in South Africa. It's notably easier here to adopt (at least easier than in the UK,that I know), because the paperwork does not really overpower the practical work. My mom for example often has to complete her paperwork on weekends because she was so busy during the week with home visits.
    It is rather unacceptable that they allowed a mother who was high to have unsupervised time with a toddler... but it remains a bit of a predicament I suppose, as nobody would want another court case.
    Best of luck with the adoption!

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  6. Wow. Wow. Wow. A friend of mine told me once that she's a much better pediatrician now that she has children. I'm sure you can be a good one without having children, but seeing the other side provides perspective that no amount of education can give you.

    Congrats on a new chapter!

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  7. I am so happy that you are going to be able to bring your family together through adoption but sorry you have had to go through all this mess. It is very complicated but you sound as though you handle it with grace. The point you make at the end about people in social work having experience as foster parents is AMAZING.
    Again congratulations! :)

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  8. I cannot even imagine being in your situation. I am so glad for the outcome, but so, so sorry for all you had to go through to get to it. You are amazing and your daughter is lucky for it!

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  9. I have a friend who is a social worker and she has stories like that all the time. I haven't heard about them just "sucking it up" but then again its possible. I'm happy for your outcome!

    Stopping by from Shell's PYHO!

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  10. I can't imagine how hard it is to adopt or foster children. Domestic adoption sounds like it's harder than going out of the country. Our government doesn't sound like they make it very easy either. Sorry you have had to go through so much to adopt Little Lady. Thankfully you are finally reaching the end of the rainbow.
    Stopping in from PYHO.

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  11. That is so hard to hear. I always thought that they had to NOT be impaired in order to have their visit. Makes no sense & is incredibly frustrating.

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  12. I agree too! I know someone with 3 foster children and they give their kids all of their love and have to pick up the pieces after every bad visit with a family member.

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  13. Visibly high and they let it continue?????

    OMG.

    I would be furious!

    But, I'm so happy for you that the adoption can go through and you don't have to deal with birth mom any more!

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  14. I just can't get over how laid-back the caseworker was about the whole situation...I think you're on to something with your ideas about having social workers actually have to be a part of the system that they're working for in order to gain a special appreciation for just what exactly foster parents go through. But on a happy note, I'm so glad that Little Lady will soon get to be yours forever and always! :D

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  15. I'm happy this little angel will be in the arms of wonderful people forever! I wanted to go in this field years ago, but after speaking with a social worker on exactly what goes on, and how I would have to harden my heart, I figured that wasn't the job for me. I'm too emotional when it comes to children.

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  16. Wow, that is just insane. And incredibly sad.
    But I am so happy for Little Lady that she has you to love her and look out for her. She is blessed.

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  17. This is so sad. I agree that her last visit really should have been her last. What was the point of dragging it out?! It doesn't seem like that decision was made in the best interest of little lady. Shame on them! I am happy for you and your family, and so glad you can move forward and put birth mom in the past.

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  18. I could have written this post 10 years ago. I was in the same position as you, right down to my son's birthmom relinquishing right before the TPR trial. She was granted a final visit as well, ironically at a McD's playland. She showed up obviously under the influence of something and with 8 or 9 other people. It was a disaster. I was a social worker before we became foster parents. Let's just say that I can never go back into that field again. Ever. I'm so happy you are going to be able to adopt Little Lady! I hope it goes smoothly and quickly :)

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  19. I vaguely understand in theoretical terms why they need to allow that final visit, but COME ON! That's just ridiculous.

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  20. I am an adopted child, and if anyone ever spoke about my parents the way you have about this little girls mother, then I pray God will have mercy on your soul.

    Give the REAL mother credit, for she gave up her child for a better life!

    Just as my REAL father did for me. He was an alcoholic. Did it make his love for me any less? Of course not!!!

    You know, that child that rightly BELONGS to GOD, not you, will someday grow up and perhaps resent you, if you bad mouth her mother.

    Blood is thicker than water!!! And I do know what I'm talking about. I HATE the people that adopted me. I HATE that their name is now on my birth certificate. IT'S A CRAPPY PIECE OF PAPER THAT I HAVE TO LIVE WITH FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE, WITH FALSE EVIDENCE.

    As I said, BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER. That little girl may be in your care, for you to raise, but you had better love on her and her REAL MOTHER.

    Or some day, she may feel just the way I do.

    INSTEAD OF BLOGGING BAD STUFF, YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE MOTHER, WHY DON'T YOU TRY PRAYER.

    Don't judge others. She gave YOU! HER child, never forget that!!!

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  21. OH, and I had ONE LAST VISIT with my FATHER, a day I wish I could remember. The welfare even let him keep me for the whole night and came to collect me the next day.

    HIGH AS A KITE OR NOT, THE REAL MOTHER DESERVED AS MANY VISITS AS SHE REQUESTED.

    WALK A MILE IN HER SHOES!!!

    REMEMBER, it's not all about YOU!!!

    And who is to say, you will indeed to a "better job" or that the "child will have a wonderful future with you?"

    PLEASE, remember, the child is MORE THAN YOURS, or a CASE FOLDER.

    I was a child once, and I'd give anything to know my REAL parents.

    SO, there you go, there's always MORE to the story...

    GOD SAYS, YOU MUST, IT IS A COMMAND, LOVE ONE ANOTHER! That include the child's MOTHER, her REAL MOTHER.

    Your post here, makes me PHYSICALLY SICK!!!

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    Replies
    1. It's obviously you are full of anger and bad feelings. Yet you speak of love, and you ask Kim to love, when all YOU feel is hate.

      Let's see things objectively. There are a lot of women that do not deserve to be called mothers. I live in a country where I see babies abandoned in hospitals, garbage or abused children on a weekly basis. And yet the system seem to give them endless rights. Why giving a woman a chance to reconsider rasing a child that she already abandoned or abused?

      You said your father was an alcoholic. Yes, that doesn't mean he did not loved you. It means that it was a dangerous environment for you. I saw many cases of alcoholic mothers or fathers that accidentally killed their children because they were too drunk and falled asleep on them and suffocated them. Or they were too drunk to feed the children on time, to wash them, to care for them, to be careful to lock the doors and secure the windows. The possibilities are endless, and believe me, I've seen a lot of such tragedies.

      In this case, Kim will definitely do a much better job raising that little girl, and I am sure the child will be very loved and cared for.

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    2. Um, Kim never said it was all about her. It's all about the CHILD & protecting an innocent baby.

      Delete
  22. I have no words... Im just so thankful she can now be yours :) she wont ever remember these experiences and you can fill her life with beautiful moments that will allow her to never know the pain her Birth person ( sorry I cant bring myself to call her a mum after her actions) did.

    congrats :) and welcome to a family who love you little one :) xxx

    karina

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  23. Wow, just wow. I would have been horrified too!! But now it's all finished, right? No more of that woman who, unfortunately, cannot be called a mother. I hope she recovers, though.

    But, my congratulations!! :D Horray for your new addition to the family, may God bless you all. <3

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  24. That caseworker should be fired. How incredibly irresponsible.

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  25. I am shocked. Visibly high and not a threat?! I'm so glad you can put this behind you and move forward in adopting the baby you love so much.

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  26. It's amazing to know that the same things happen everywhere. We adopted our first child out of foster care (in MN) in the same type of situation - we've had her since birth and right before the termination hearing birth mom relinquished rights. I am so thankful that things worked out well for your daughter (and for mine!). Enjoy the future! We've enjoyed the past four years with our princess.

    Love your blog, by the way! Just stumbled across it tonight.

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  27. I'm finally catching up on my blog reading. So happy for you, and also utterly shocked the visit went ahead.

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