I don’t think it’s much of a surprise that being involved with the foster system is hard. In every capacity it’s emotionally hard, and painful, whether you’re the social worker or judge, bio parents, foster parents, bio siblings who aren’t in the system, and especially as the kid who’s been ripped out of their life, out of everything they know and love, and forced to live with people who they may have never met before, who at least at the beginning they don’t love or care about. It’s nearly impossible to choose just one aspect of this whole awful system and say “This, this is the worst part.” because there is just so much awfulness involved in the foster system. There is the point where the kids realize that they don’t get to talk to their parents whenever they want to, or that they don’t get to go home in a couple of days. That their bio parents aren’t always going to call, and a lot of times, that is a choice that they have purposefully made. There’s the behavior after visits, the screaming and crying, and broken hearts. The kids who think that if they just act up enough that the state will give up on trying to make them live somewhere else, and will just give them back to their bio parents. The times when they don’t get to see their siblings… The nightmares, and the horrible traumatic memories playing over and over in the heads of these kids. The stories, the awful stories of what the lives of these kids were like before they were brought into the system, the trauma they’ve endured, and witnessed. Having to send the kids back to their bio families whenever the families aren’t ready, and you know that you are just sending them back into a situation they should never have had to deal with in the first place. It’s all hard. But it’s so, so worth it. To form lasting relationships, with kids, bio parents, social workers, and other foster families you meet along the way. There are days when life feels crazy out of control, and during those moments I wonder why we ever decided to do this. But then I realize, this life isn’t meant to be easy. It’s meant to be tough, and grueling, to make you question yourself, and what you believe. It’s meant to be easy. We’re meant to make a difference.
Signed, your friendly neighborhood blogger.