Sunday, February 03, 2008

Who does the difficult work?

If you are a foster parent, or have adopted from foster care, probably someone has told you that they could never do what you do. Sometimes I get annoyed with hearing that. Sometimes I wonder if it is an excuse not to seriously consider doing care. It is impossible, to extraoridinary, an ordinary person can't imagine doing it. Only sometimes though, because I know how hard it can be. It can be done by ordinary mortals, but it requires dedication and willingness to learn new skills.

If you talk to other foster parents, no matter what sort of care you do, you are likely to hear that the kind of care you do is the really hard sort. I mean you folks out there who will take little ones, well, my hat's off to you. Babies? Lordy, I cannot imagine having a baby or toddler in the house again. Been there, done that, got the poop stains on the t-shirt and have moved on, thank you very much.

And large families? No way. I take kids one at a time. So maybe over time they are beginning to add up, but they don't all live here. I wonder if after Brian leaves we could do a sibling group, but three is the max. Even that I don't know if we could do. Well, we could, but it certainly feels daunting. And the ragers! I mean, I can deal with kids who have anger, but throwing furniture, slamming fists into floors and walls, destroying property -- no, I can't imagine doing that.

Again, what is beginning to feel like my mantra runs through my head, "At least not while Brian is at home." The truth though is that those kids are out while Roland is at home too. And since I plan on keeping Roland around until long after we are too old to do care, someone else is going to have to take the raging kids and the hyperactive kids. Roland has always been clear: he teaches those kids at school. He has a reputation for being great with them, but he cannot come home to them.

No, we need kids who are calm.

I take the easy ones.

I don't know how the rest of you do it.

12 comments:

  1. One day at a time- just like you...:)

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  2. I don't care for the "I couldn't do what you do" comments either. They're meant as compliments, so I just kind of smile and move on, but there's an implication that my son takes some sort of herculean effort. But then, maybe we are a special breed. What we do seems impossible -- crazy -- to some. So maybe there is something different. I don't think we're any more able than the next person. But maybe just wanting to foster/fost-adopt makes us different in some way.

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  3. p.s. I think my hyperactive, raging, destructive, RAD boy is easier than your kids in some ways. It's all a matter of perspective!

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  4. You still have a tough job! Parenting is never easy!

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  5. I had to laugh as I read this entry. I have two foster babies, one with special needs and can do large numbers of kids no problem but I can't imagine taking teens. I tried once and it just didn't work unfortunately. We all have our comfort zone, thank goodness, it would be awful if everyone only was interested in one age group.

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  6. LMAO - I always feel guilty for taking babies because I feel like that's the easy way out.

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  7. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I too am glad that we find different kids easy.

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  8. I HATE it when people say, "oh I could never do that, I would get too attached!" That one, makes me crazy. But now I always respond, " I know, but I am a monster and I never get attached to the children we foster." grrrr! One person's hard is another person's I can can do that. I think the same thing about other people including you!

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  9. Honestly, I don't think I could foster parent. But that's the rub. I don't think I could do it because of my own issues with being in care. And I thank G-d every day that there ARE people who can do it. I thank G-d that there was a homeless shelter for teens in my county. Yes, there are people who can do it and those that can't. I think it's more important to focus on the fact that we each recognize our own limitations and respect them. I have no problem talking publicly about the abuse I suffered as a child. I know other people who are horrified at the idea of publicly sharing such personal information.

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  10. This reminds me of a quote attributed to Mother Teresa - "What I do you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful." It's all important stuff, but no one person needs to be able to do it all and it's critical that defferent people are able to do different parts of it.
    Julie

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  11. Julie great quote. I was just saying the other day to an adult adoptee who said she was grateful there were foiks who would foster adopt since her folks voluntarily relinquished her at 16 mos...that I hate it when people say "I could never do it, my heart is too big" or "it would break my heart" - Yeah I guess I just have a little tiny cold heart that couldn't be broken :-) Sheesh...yup it takes all kinds to make the world go round or 'it takes a village'.

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  12. I also loved the Mother Teresa quote!

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