‘Can you please stop talking about it? Why do you keep talking about it? Can you just stop?’ She slammed her cup of milk down.’: Foster mom’s emotional realization that ‘goodbye is coming’Read More
“Never in my wildest imagination did I think I’d be taking family photos without a husband, my children’s father.
The 4 — and then 6… and then 7 — of us looked so good in photos together, we fooled even ourselves. Until one day I was brave enough to stare our marriage’s reality in the face and ask for help. We had 5 kids at the time and had just celebrated 6 years of marriage. The walls of our entire life crashed, the walls built with facades and fantasies I had construed to survive, because silently dying inside felt more livable than looking at the truth and what would come next.
I wasn’t ever going to be a divorcee. ‘Divorce is for weak people who don’t understand the sacredness of the vow.’ I sincerely believed this to my core. I wasn’t about to tell that to a divorcee’s face, but anytime I heard of another friend’s marriage ending, I pitifully shook my head, disappointed for their lack of strength to just make it work.Read More
Something I've seen and even bought into until I became an adult with my own thinking is that society likes to stigmatize kids who are in foster care or who were adopted. I didn't even realize I bought into this.
They are seen as less than, unwanted, and often times "behavioral." They are labeled "the bad kid" by peers and even adults. Sometimes we don't even realize we see them this way, often it is implicit and subconscious bias deep within us...that's the trouble with our society. Things are engrained into us without even realizing it, and these things continue to churn the way our world works, spinning abusive and unjust cycles.
And sure, many of our kids's behaviors hurt other people. That is real. But, I'd argue that every single kid hurts another person with poor choices; they're all developing and learning what is okay and what is not.Read More
We’re finishing up dinner time when our phones buzz and it’s our Group Text. You know, the place all our friends pile into the screen together to share gifs about dinner being like feeding a herd of rhinos or our sadness over not being able to afford to see Hamilton... but also share stories about our days filled with sorrow and strained relationships and stuff.
It’s our friends Kat and Luke, who have been short term-emergency placement foster parents for...what, three years now? They said yes to homing a sibling set of six First Generation Somali-American Muslim children, for just a couple nights, before they’re split up into various foster homes. Ideally, a foster resource could house all six long term; realistically, Portland is in crisis as it is, and these kids were in hotel rooms for approximately a week waiting for any home to take any of them. The moment they sent us the text, we all jumped in asking what they needed. Our community is the best. We were also all wide-eyed and grateful for the example of this family; their home isn't big by any means. Their biological daughter moved into their room while the other six children smooshed into two small bedrooms.Read More
Their sadness permeates our home, and we do our best to balance the tension of sitting in the sad and engaging in fun activities to create a variation of childhood memories.
We hear a lot that they are lucky to be with us. It's one of those well-intended statements that makes me sick and sad and all the things in between.
When you slow down to think about it, they are living some of the hardest stories known.
They aren't lucky, you know.
Lucky is winning the lottery.
Lucky isn't being ripped from your family and all you know, being forced into a system that doesn't have its stuff together, and into a family of strangers.Read More
Never did I imagine that by the time I was 25 years old, I would have experienced miscarriage and a full term pregnancy, adopted our first son, and began the foster care journey.
When I envisioned myself as a twenty-five year old, I surely didn't think I'd be in the broken trenches with little humans, so worthy to be safely and securely loved but so deprived of it too. It's much more "attractive" and "Instagram worthy" to live that cute life of procreating biologically, and in order, making little mini-me's, perfectly spread out. You know? We all know typical families aren't perfect, but it's often easy for me to look at them and think, "Dang, they are sure cute and sweet. I wonder what that's like." I’m sure people have looked into my tiny frames in the past and had similar thoughts...that’s just the thing with social media...right?Read More