All in the Family
There are so many things you don’t know, can’t know, and won’t know about the kids that enter the child welfare system. There is always a story and each child has their own. There is, however, one commonality- they all came from somewhere. To welcome a child into your home is to welcome their family into your home. There are traditions and habits and learned behaviors that are instilled in every kid that go wherever they go.
The priority of foster parenting is to care for the child in your home. It can be messy and complicated and dramatic, so dramatic, to have a relationship with any of the biological family. I know this. While it can be a challenge to accept the brokenness that comes with loving broken people it can be beautiful in its own right.
While it seems so trivial, I would not have baby pictures of my kids if their biological mother didn’t send them to me. They love seeing themselves as babies- kids are strange. I’m not going to lie, getting stock pictures from google that could pass as baby pictures of them would require a lot less from me and I have thought about it. However, if I sever ties because it’s the more convenient thing for me to do, I would miss out on so much more than baby pictures of my kids. I get life updates from bio mom and she shares details about their collective story that only she has the ability to share.
Friends of mine are able to frequently see their former foster children and help their biological families out only because they have worked hard to establish a relationship with them and have loved them SO well.
It is certainly not always convenient or intuitive to love the families and places these sweet souls come from. There are days that it seems so unworth it. There are days that it is easier to be disgusted and just over it. However I believe to fully embrace my kids is to fully accept every part of them and so I choose to do the hard and messy work of forging relationships that might not always feel good so that together we can be the good. These kids deserve that.
Keeping it all in the family,