Thrice Damned: The Foster Children Of America: Part Three

In Part One, I discussed the problems the foster care systems faces. In Part Two, I discussed what can be done to make the lives of foster children better. Today I will explore what happened to real fathers and mothers.

Real father’s follow their hearts. It may be his friends tell them to spank his unruly son but true father’s trust themselves. And his heart tells him spanking is not right; his heart tells him his son needs connection, not violence.

Real mother’s follow their instincts. It may be all the mothers in her mother’s group bottle-feed. But she wants to breastfeed and the true mother will breastfeed. If it is physically or medically impossible, she will pump milk for her baby because she knows it is what she and her baby need.

Parenting is an instinct you are born with. It tells you what to do with your child; it tells you to feed them after they enter this world, change their diapers, and care for them as they grow. You cannot learn to parent by taking a class because parenting is not a lesson you can learn through study.

Too many parents deny their instincts. Breastfeeding is lost in view of the bottle, though many mothers still do and have begun to breastfeed. Parents tell themselves they are being strong training their baby to cry itself back to sleep. Parents tell themselves they are doing right by placing their child in a crib, but I believe instead of doing good, cribs encourage separation and leech away empathy as parents grow more distant from their child too soon. How else might a mother tolerate her child crying itself to sleep?

Many foster parents view younger children to be among the easiest to handle. Yet parents who foster babies are often inpatient and swiftly return a baby to the system after too-long a crying fit. If you foster a baby, treat it with the patience you would your own and comfort it; love it. If you are unwilling to do that, do not hurt another life by fostering a baby you do not care to handle. Young minds remember; even if it is the distant, blurry memories of an infant mind, a child will remember abandon and hurt, and carry that with them as they grow.

Adopt a baby and you can save it from a life of trauma. Perhaps its mother is a drug addict, prostitute, or a woman who does not want her baby. Perhaps the birth mother herself suffers or suffered from domestic abuse. Perhaps she was raped. Many are the mothers who despise their child and begin to abuse them through hate.

Within the foster system, there are demons: men and women whose homes are far from safe, yet places where many children are further hurt before being ejected into a damaged adulthood.

But, since there are demons, there are also angels: men and women who have created safe havens for dozens of children and guided dozens more through childhood into a healthy adulthood.

Foster parents are forbidden to hit or spank foster children (this does not stop abuse from occurring) but, once a child is adopted, this law is waived. In some instances, I believe the law encourages those foster parents who abide by the law to find patience within themselves since spanking is not within their parenting toolbox.

In other instances, the adoption of a child can lead to parents who spank because they do not realize simply loving a child is reason enough not to spank.

I hope that, with more people looking to adopt babies and children, the number of children in the foster care system will dwindle. I hope foster parents will learn to sit down and talk through challenging behavior and grief with their foster children and give them the time they need to heal from past trauma. I hope foster parents will be people who care from their hearts and can give children the homes and support they need to grow healthily.

And, even if it seems heartless, I hope parents who give their children up into the foster system come back from rehabilitation or recover from poor relationships and realize that perhaps their children are better off with a new family.

I believe many mothers and fathers became parents through mistakes or misconceptions and that it would be better for them to pass their children on to happier homes then to cling to children they cannot or will not care for instead of fighting for little ones for the sake of blood alone.

I believe it is better, if one is an addict or unstable parent, to let a child go rather than force them to be dragged between foster homes and home, unless home is a place that the parent is willing to fight to change into a safe and healthy place.

We do not need foster parents who abuse and neglect the children they take in. We do not need foster families who add to the trauma foster children suffer.

What we need are aware, intentional people with a place in their hearts for lost children, and the willingness to help those children heal with love and peace. We need people who are fostering children not for money but for kindness.

We need foster parents who foster because they want to help children.

We need people who adopt children not as a last resort but out of love for children and family. And every day, when I read news of a baby or toddler being adopted, I catch a glimpse of such a person. They are not lost but they are hard to find.

 

Photo by Rajesh Rajput on Unsplash

18 thoughts on “Thrice Damned: The Foster Children Of America: Part Three

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  1. Children depend on us for so many things – we need to do our part and give them a life that they deserve. I mean they don’t need to be rolling in expensive things but at least provide them the necessities while building healthy mental health for them. It is so sad when foster parents take advantage of the system and neglect the children. It really gives the name a bad reputation when there are other foster parents who want to give the child the best but have a hard time due to various legal reasons.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is true that love has nothing to do with expense. And I could not agree more that the people who abuse the system make it harder for people who really care about foster kids to be given a chance.
      One bad apple, it is said, spoils the crop!
      Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

      Like

  2. It takes such a special kind of person to foster a child well, truly taking care like it was their own child all while knowing this is a very short term situation. It must be so hard! We have family friends who adopted and even that transition is challenging enough x

    Sophie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love knowing people within your circle of family and friends have adopted! I know it is not for everyone but every adoption makes a small difference.
      Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

      Like

  3. Before we had Flora my husband and I talked about adoption but we both agreed we couldn’t foster, it would be too hard. In an ideal world, I’d like to think foster children are a temporary gift on loan, but the reality is much less simplistic. I agree with you, Jaya, it takes a special type of person to become a foster parent. I have huge admiration for anyone that does this. Lisa x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. “We do not need foster parents who abuse and neglect the children they take in.” This is a real nightmare and it’s happening all over. We really need these people to love the children they adopt. I am no sure how we as a society can help, but certainly we need to move and do something about.
    Thank you for sharing this sweetheart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Everything I can think of to improve the society depends so much on finding people who actually care about their fellow beings, and that is something no one can guarantee!
      I am sorry it has taken so long to get back to you; thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I hope and pray that in two years I will be able to adopt a child. I’ve been talking about it forever but because of my job I haven’t taken the plunge. Come next year I am going to embrace more slow living and spend time on things that really matter.
    I agree wholeheartedly that “a child will remember abandon and hurt, and carry that with them as they grow.” Good parenting cannot be achieved without total love, patience and commitment.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I think sometimes people can foster not realising that these children do have traumas and that they may not react like other children, especially not straight away. They need time, patience, trust and understanding but instead can be written off as difficult.

    Liked by 1 person

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