Friday, October 23, 2009

Small Town Fostering

When we decided to supervise visits with the girls' parents in our home many people online thought this was strange. Scary even. It was neither bravery or stupidity that brought on that decision - it was reality. Being a foster family, and a visible, well known multiracial adoptive family at that in a small city where we are well established means that any thoughts of being anonymous were completely pointless. We know way too many people, and with 4 kids in various schools and sporting events? The paths in a small community are tightly woven.

Fostering in a small community brings unique challenges and rewards. Through no effort of my own I realize that I know several professionals involved with the kids before they entered my life. I have run into the girls extended family members multiple times at my grocery store, at my mall, at my park. And those are just the relatives I have met and recognise. Their family friends attend our church. Their sibling plays lacrosse with my son. I am absolutely certain I have also been seen by people who know the girls but don't know me and are watching my every move when I am out and about with the babies. Having a good relationship, being honest, going above and beyond is alot less stressful than trying to stay hidden.

This was brought home to me yesterday when I happened to be involved in what resulted in a "police incident" when a foster parent and a foster child and a biological parent all turned up at the same location when they weren't supposed to have contact. Emergency calls to social workers, the police circling the building, nervous foster moms, angry parents, confused kids and a grateful me that I have a good relationship with my girls' mother.

Small town fostering is different.

PS. Miss Precious is TOOOOOOOO adorable for words and I love every minute with her but I have decided that mothers of triplets are saints. SAINTS. Do you know how many diapers three pooping machines generate in a day? All I do is change bums and make bottles, cuddle, play and repeat.


Sandy said...

I completely understand. We run into family everywhere.

Unknown said...

I found out yesterday how odd it is to be a divorced parent when my husband and I ran into my daughter and my ex in the grocery store. It was all good, since we get along, but still a bit odd.

Jenny said...

Hey Jen!

I just nominated you for an award.