Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A long strange trip (already)

So, as is often the case with foster placements, nothing is as clear or easy as it first seems.

Baby Bear (that's his internet pseudonym) is still precious and adorable and I can't imagine loving him anymore. Birthmom showed back up at the hospital two days after dropping him off and may or may not be interested in filing for custody. She is young and her parents are not aware that she's had a baby. She has called his caseworker twice and seems very interested in how he's doing. But, she hasn't asked to visit yet, so it's unclear what her intentions are.

I genuinely feel very badly for birthmom. She is so young and she must be so scared. When she visited Baby Bear's caseworker last week (10 days after giving birth) she had not received any medical attention. Thankfully the Children's Services nurse was able to check her out and she seemed to be fine.

Here's the kicker. Baby Bear's caseworker called yesterday to give me Birthmom's phone number. She is interested in talking to us. PB is confident that she just wants to make sure he's OK, that she's only heard terrible things about foster parents, etc. Which is fine and totally understandable. PB and I are also *very* willing to pursue an open adoption with her if that's what she'd like to do. If there's one thing we've learned in the process of preparing ourselves to adopt it's that involvement with biological parents is critically important to many adoptees.

So why didn't we call her yesterday? Frankly, because I'm scared. I'm afraid she'll say she wants to start visiting, that she might want him back. Which is well within her rights, and which, as foster parents, is our stated goal. But it is so much harder in reality than in theory. We're very attached to him; he feels like our son. I know that's not what we're supposed to do, but I don't know how not to.

I know that in the end things will work out - one way or another. Birthmom is taking her time and making a careful decision, she left him at the hospital instead of a dumpster... she's doing all the right things.

And maybe that's what scares me most.


FosterMommy said...

I know how you feel. Trust me, though, it's much easier to "lose a baby" (that wasn't really yours to begin with) to a good parent who just made a few mistakes than to have the baby go with bad parents who you're sure will continue to make bad mistakes and harm the child.

And that happens more often than you'd like to know.

Call the mother. Talk to her about Baby Bear. If she brings up visits or getting him back, tell her that's not your arena and she needs to talk to the case worker about that. Your job is to keep her informed about her child, take care of the child, and grow a good relationship with the mother.

This is the beginning of a long journey for all of you, and any way it turns out, it will be to everyone's benefit if you have a good relationship with Baby Bear's mother.

Amanda said...

Thanks, fostermommy. You've put my mind at ease. In my heart I knew that was the right way to go and I appreciate the comment!

Renee said...

Congrats! I also have a newborn baby boy! Well hes 8weeks old now, but we brought him home at 2days old. Its a rollercoaster for sure. We were told he would be going to adoptions and now---well I just had to take him in for a paternity test. Two possible fathers. One who has no shot at him, and one with a perfectly clean record. Its a horrible thought to wish the results to fall in our favor ::sigh:: but its so hard not to. He feels like he is my own, and I cant imagine ever letting him go. He does have visits with bio mom every week(even though no reunification services are being offered to her) I actually like her alot, but it doesnt stop me from crying and sobbing the whole way to my car and for the entire 2hr duration of the visits. GL to you, Im excited to find your blog and I will keep reading to see how your story unfolds.