The Real Story

30
Aug
2013


I am pleased to share with you my daughter’s perspective on our family journey of fostering to adopt.  I did not edit anything she wrote and did not bribe her either.  This is from her heart and I hope it may help another mom who might be struggling with what direction to go.

I was 16 when I first heard that my mom and stepdad were considering being foster parents. It was the last thing that I expected to hear during a dinner conversation while we were on vacation in Hawaii. They asked all of our opinions about it and I was very up front about my opposition.

A Full House Already

I initially felt extremely unimportant. Already our family consisted of 3 kids including myself, why did we need to add another? At the time, this seemed like just an idea and not something that I honestly thought would actually happen since I was so against it. I thought that my mom and stepdad would value my opinion about adding another person to the family. I was incorrect.

A long time went by and the idea of fostering never really came up again. Then, we were told that they were going to go ahead with becoming foster parents and that they were also going to foster to adopt. I was shocked to say the least. I was angry, hurt, and felt extremely unimportant and like my opinion and feelings didn’t matter at all. I was only about a year away from getting ready to go away to college and I felt like they were going to replace me with another kid. I didn’t even believe that this was actually happening. I ignored my mom for a long time and just didn’t want to talk to her or do anything with her unless I had to. I was so hurt and felt like she didn’t care about my feelings. Still, the process continued until they had their foster license and soon we had our first foster child in the house.

The First Placement

He was a baby just days old. We didn’t even know he was coming until a few hours beforehand. I wanted nothing to do with him. I didn’t hold him, play with him, laugh at the funny things he did, nothing. I was pissed to be honest. I felt like this baby had priority over me to my mom and I was my mom’s biological child. I was miserable. After a few weeks of having him with us, he was moved to a different home so he would be with his siblings. My mom was crushed and was really upset but I honestly couldn’t have been happier. He was gone and everything was back to normal.

Real Life

It didn’t stay that way though. Right before Christmas, Jacob came into the picture. I still felt the same way about him. I didn’t want anything to do with him for a while. Didn’t play with him or interact with him in any way. However, my feelings eventually changed. I was able to read his case story and about why he was with us. It really opened my eyes and made me realize how much we are helping him and where he would be otherwise. It broke my heart that he was born into the life that he was. After I found out what his story was, I changed my tune. I decided that I was going to embrace Jacob and be there for him and help out in any way that I could.

lauren-jacobEventually, Jacob became a permanent member of the family and I have to be honest, I couldn’t be happier. Knowing that he will grow up in a healthy environment instead of the alternative is the best thing ever. I now know that there was a reason that God had us become a foster family.

It was for Jacob.

Even though Jacob isn’t blood related to me and doesn’t even have the same last name as I do, I still consider him my brother. I love spending time with him and hearing the funny things he says and seeing the funny things he does as he grows up, learns and goes through life. Yes, sometimes he is REALLY annoying and can be a pill, but that’s the case with every kid isn’t it?

The Beauty

I went from being an angry 16 year old thinking that everyone was against me and not caring about my feelings to being a 20 year old in college and realizing that I didn’t know everything back then and the fears I had were ridiculous. Having Jacob is a blessing and I realize that. I am happy that he is part of the family and he will always have loving, caring parents and siblings to help him through life.

I am glad to call Jacob my brother.

Lauren

 

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  • Shonda

    That is truly touching. We did foster parenting for newborns when I was in high school as the interim family before adoption. I don’t know how I would have felt if my parents wanted to adopt, but I surely didn’t want to give up those babies, but knew they were going to be with a family that God chose for them. We had 4 little boys. Lauren, thanks for sharing and I know Jacob will look back one day to know that you are best sister he could have ever possibly imagined!

  • Shelly Foster

    I think it tells a more honest story when people are honest that it isn’t always roses with fostering, foster to adopt or adoption itself. I love that she was honest in her feelings and the emotions she felt!! I love your posts – I am adopted from foster care ( I was 2.5 yrs old) and adopted my son in private adoption from girl at church. And my best friend and her hubby have adopted one from foster to adopt and have a second they are hoping to adopt 🙂 Thanks for telling different sides to the story!! LOL on side note are y’all from Seattle? that was where i was adopted to (from Spokane) than we ended up in Centralia!

  • Susan and Lauren, thanks for sharing. Jacob is a blessing!

  • Thanks for your comment Shelly – I agree, it is better to tell the whole story = not just the warm and fuzzy, although we hd the warm and fuzzy in the end, it was trusting God in His plan! Yep, in Seattle – born and raised!

  • Jessica G

    Both you Susan and Lauren are amazing I have spoken to my husband about becoming foster parents it is still in the talk especially since we still have 3 small children and learning the ropes of parenting. What you and your family have done is a blessing for Jacob as well as for you family. May the Lord continue blessing you all every step of the way.

  • Thank you so much for your kind words. God makes a way for what ever His plan is….. if it is to be in your journey, He will make a way. I pray you find encouragement in the other areas you might support families who are in the midst of the journey 🙂

  • Gretchen Marinacci

    Lauren that was so amazing to read your outlook. we are in a similiar situation with my 16 year old son and now I understand how he feels. I felt he was being selfish and mean and now see that he was scared and felt like he was being replaced. thank you for sharing and being honest about how you really felt. I hope that someone else can get the prospective that i just gained and be able to understand how everyone feels. best of luck to you and Jacob

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