This weekend was an obvious weekend full of joy for my family and I am still over the moon. Let's face it, unless I do decide to do this whole journey over again, for a while (at least 6 months) I'm free of social worker visits, of having to report every bump, bruise, and cut with my heart pounding wildly, and of course no more asking permission for everything including trimming hair and giving OTC medicine. Yes folks until a child is pronounced yours, permission needs to be granted for many things...it is more flexible after the termination of parental rights because then I only need permission from my social worker and not everyone under the moon, but that's a blog post for another time! I can also post pictures if I so choose to! Woohoo...although I'll probably start being a little bit more protective and selective with that after the initial excitement comes down to the everyday living!
Tonight, I did want to mention the sad side of foster care adoption. Before the hearings started on Saturday, the deputy director spoke about the facts and data from our county. This past year to date our county has granted 536 adoptions. Wow...let's repeat that again 536 adoptions. While yes this is great that these kids do not linger in foster care forever, the sobering fact remains that there were at least 536 termination of parental rights done sometime in the last year or two. To me, that's a sobering fact. Parents couldn't get it together, sometimes some didn't outright care, sometimes life just really got in the way. That just blows me away.
And where do we start to help? Obviously the first goal of foster care is reunification, so do we help then? or is this something that should really be in our heads when we mentor, teach, or come in contact with kids? In our county we have some bad stuff due to drugs. Should our efforts be more focused on really hammering out the facts to kids that being addicted to drugs or getting involved with people that do drugs can have lasting and lingering effects much more than what has been previously taught? (e.g. previous education focuses solely on drugs ruining you, drifting you and your parents apart, and possibly hindering your road to college), do we educate everyone to take care of each other and to be more willing to help your fellow man (or woman)? or do we idly sit by because obviously everyone has to have consequences for their choices?
I certainly don't know the answer and after reading an article about a man in Ohio throwing his girlfriend's baby out of the 3rd story balcony and then flinging the baby against a wall to ensure the baby was dead I guess sometimes evil will just still be in this world no matter how much we try to prevent it. I guess that although I love Tigger very much, I wish that parents would be able to keep it together for their kids and not have to suffer the ultimate consequence...536...wow. Here's hoping that we can help the next generation make good choices and diminish the trauma that innocent children sometimes suffer.