Our Journey of Kinship Foster care and Adoption
Where to begin with our story?
1) We’re middle aged (not too old but old enough that we are starting over)
2) We didn’t plan on this situation becoming permanent
3) It’s a bittersweet victory
When we were asked to take over foster care, my husband and I had no hesitation and readily agreed. So with a lot of hope and a whole lot of naivety we jumped into being both foster parents. She was a whirlwind to say the least! She left destruction in her path and had absolutely NO boundaries. She didn’t know a stranger and honestly would have went to and with whoever showed her attention. It scared us tremendously. We often wondered what we had gotten ourselves into with taking her into our home and hearts.
We went to family support meetings every three months, we tried to be supportive like they taught us in our Foster Parent books and classes. We got our little one enrolled into Headstart when she was three and found out that it wasn’t just us that had troubles getting her to settle down and be still. She had to be held by her teachers in order to not interrupt her classmates, she had to be redirected numerous times during her half a day of learning, she did not do well with not interrupting when adults were talking and numerous other behavioral issues. Her school Counselor called us and informed us that they would like to have her evaluated by a child psychiatrist as well as a play therapist. We were willing to do whatever it took to help her in her mannerisms.
We went to the psychiatrist, as well as our little one started play therapy at school with “Miss Jen Jen”. It was amazing! We have always been a Christian family and to have someone who loves God as much as we did helping our little girl was the blessing that we didn’t know she or my husband and I needed! She worked very hard with our foster daughter and listened to us when times got really tough. And they got really really bad at times. All the while Jen was working with our little one with her behaviors. They had improved so much in the year and a half that she had been seeing her at that point. Jen was able to see beyond her little whirlwind thoughts and was able to figure out the things that triggered our little one to the point of hyper vigilance.
Jen was the angel (although she won’t say it and doesn’t see it that way) that our family desperately needed. There were many times in our journey that we wanted to give up. Fostering is difficult but kinship foster care is excruciating! We got to the point that we had to make a decision in the foster parenting process and that was if we would be willing to adopt this precious little girl who had done nothing wrong in her life. This little girl who had us head over heels for her. We had a long road ahead of us. Jen often heard our woes and trials as foster-parents soon to be adoptive as well as helping our little one discover why she behaved in the ways that she did and helping her understand her own feelings. Mind you at this point she’s only 4 years old.
During a break from court testimonies, Jen said a quick prayer that things would go smoothly. Because she is the person and therapist that she is we were able to prevail. She is such a God-send to us and Jen was placed in our lives. Thank you Miss Jen Jen for the love that you showed our daughter and our family with your support and continuing guidance! We love you and hope that our testimony will help other’s in their trials of life!