Monday, February 6, 2012

A thing I didn't expect

So in the past week I have found myself doing something I didn't really expect, but that I guess I should have expected: defending the birth parents to various people.

The mom canceled her scheduled visit on Friday. The reaction of various people (who have all asked how the visit went) has been something like, "Well, isn't that good news for you?"

I think the problem is that these people keep forgetting we are not just in this to adopt. We'd happily adopt if the situation arose, but our primary motivation is to provide a safe home for a child who needs it for as long as it's needed. The people who think the mom missing visits is a good thing think it's one step closer to us GETTING TO KEEP THE BABY! instead of being a disappointment. If the baby is going to be reunited with her mom, it would be cool if the mom at least pretended to be interested in her. So I have been taking this weird stance where I almost defend the mom, because she really deserves every chance we can provide to get her shit together and get this baby back, even though at the same time I'm irritated that she missed a visit. And I've defended the dad, even though he's the world's most self-absorbed person and even though he hasn't confirmed a time for a visit this week despite the worker leaving two messages.

There is another visit scheduled for tomorrow, and I am guessing it will happen, because it's a joint visit (both parents attending), and it seems the mom is more invested in her on-again/off-again relationship with the dad than with this baby. I can be honest here about that, but to friends and family, I have to do this weird framing to make it easier to manage how people respond. It doesn't make it easier for me, that's for sure.

In our classes, they told us over and over that we're not just involved with the kids, we're involved with the parents too. I know there are much worse messes that foster parents have had to deal with, but I didn't really think about how our loved ones would respond.

I'm trying to just focus on how the baby is doing, which is so well! The cream we've been putting on her Crazy Newborn Rash has really helped and her skin looks a lot better. She's grown enough that we're finally switching her out of newborn-size diapers (she's eight weeks old!), and she has now slept six-plus hours in a row at night a total of three nights in a row. Andy has been taking her last feeding around eleven, and I feed when she wakes up around six, so we both get as much sleep as possible.

Anything else you want to know?


  1. you sound like a good foster mom. i am glad you are giving her bio mom a chance...even if she is showing things that will only get worse :/

  2. It's pretty wonderful how sincerely you have this child's best interest at heart.

  3. Thanks, dudes - I'm really not trying to paint myself as a saint here or anything. I think I just have a different understanding of people who live their lives in crisis, and I understand that not everyone is capable of improving herself, even if she wants to, and even if the rest of us think what she should do is obvious. It doesn't make me feel any more patient with the mom, but it means I get defensive when people dismiss her outright without knowing anything about her.