Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Placement Hearing, an FST Meeting, and Countless Lessons Learned

Today Amos and I attended the placement hearing and first FST (family support team) meeting for our girls. The hours that we spent inside the courthouse and later at CD served as humbling reminders of how close each of us are to our own children being in protective custody. Sometimes it only takes an accusation for a family to be tangled into the system, and sometimes the accusations are going to end up untrue. 

I'm learning that I am a foster parent who is a defender of families and one who hopes that the good story is the true one. 

Today we met two very sad parents who truly seem to be working like mad to get their family back together. We watched a mother hear a judge say her babies could not come home with her today. We watched a dad wipe away tears and keep his composure because his wife was depending on him to be the strong one. We watched a room full of people work together in the name of reunification. The workers and veteran foster parents all agreed that it was the most productive and promising start to a case they'd ever witnessed. 

Today I came to understand that we foster families cannot allow our stories to be about us. 

We cannot be the ones to cry in a sad situation. The family that we're helping needs our support. That means that we have to put our own emotions aside until another time. We don't get to draw attention to ourselves; because the kids, and the parents, deserve every bit of effort focused on them. 

My foster parenting journey is not about me and my family. My day today was not about how my husband and I grew closer through it all, not about how great my sweet Miriam is at big sistering, not about how Miss J is getting so great at loving these sweeties with reckless abandon. No. 

Today is about pouring every ounce of effort into giving a family their best shot at once again gathering in their family room together. 

It's about validating a mother's love and knowledge of her children. It's about teaming up to create the best circumstances for her children until all the pieces of their puzzle are put together. Today is about making connections. Today is THIER day, not mine. This story is THEIR story, not mine. I am humbled and blessed beyond measure to play my small role, to be a witness to true love of a family.

No comments: