I try to keep my circle of influence large when it comes to foster care and adoption. If the only people you listen to are other foster or adoptive parents – the perspective gets VERY skewed. I often tell y'all to seek out former foster youth (FFY) and adults that were adopted.
Please read this post. It was written by a FFY, adoptive mom, and current foster mom. She knows what she's talking about. I love the imagery. The connections she makes here are real and true – even if they are hard to read and/or believe.
She wants to remain anonymous. She's got very valid reasons for this. But she gave me permission to share her words. This is what she has to say:
**Steps on to soapbox**
I get a lot of PMs about
adoption and foster care. A lot a lot. Sometimes it feels like half my
friends list is seeking advice about kids they have or want to have. And I am absolutely ok with that, by the way. I'd rather you come to me
than have to sift through damaging facebook groups or read useless
books. However, in the moment, dealing your message individually, I
find myself soften. I am empathetic to you as my friend. I hold back a
bit about what I think of foster care or adoption and your possible
participation in the industry.
So it's easier to make this general post about it. And I might do several posts on a few topics.
Here's one thought that keeps coming back.
You all see my kids as happy, and they are. But you don't see, and I
won't advertise, all of the other STUFF. And there's a ton of it.
Many or most of you seem to be Harry Potter fans, so here's a Potterific explanation that occurred to me.
Remember the mirror? The mirror that was supposed to show your heart's desire?
After you adopt, and you love the kids and they love you back and everything is awesome and blah blah blah...
The image in the mirror still exists for them. It always will, and
there is never going to be a time when your love somehow "overcomes" the
image in the mirror.
You have to be ok with that to adopt. If you
are the type of person who is competitive or territorial, adoption is
likely NOT for you. If you are possessive or proprietary, adoption is
likely NOT for you. If you depend on straight lines and logic and
categories, adoption is likely NOT for you. If you need your efforts to
be appreciated and need those you love to show gratefulness, DEAR GAWD
adoption is not for you.
Because you will never, ever be able to
change the image in mirror. And their pain needs to be honored and
respected, which means any feels you have about it need to get
swallowed. (emphasis mine)
So friends, before you message me and ask about adopting, really sit with this please.
You may be "mom" to them, they may love you with all their heart, you
may give them the world... they may not even want contact with their
But the mirror holds the truth. Never forget that. (emphasis mine)
I am ok with it. I went into this with eyes WIDE open. My acceptance of
it all is partly how the kids are so happy. I am secure in what I can
and cannot provide.
Before you foster or adopt, make sure you are secure too. Please, please, please.
**steps off soapbox**