So, I’ve had this fear since the day that we started looking into becoming foster parents. The scenario goes something like this, I walk into a store, stop to get gas, or I’m at a doctor’s appointment with one of our babies and I see a member of their first family. The family member wants to hold baby, talk to baby, or take baby from me. I get upset, the family member gets upset, baby gets upset, and drama ensues.
Today, I got to live out that very drama. I use the words, “got to” lightly and very sarcastically. This morning, I accompanied another foster mama taking her twin babies to get paternity tests done. The babies are very tiny and medically fragile, so I went along to help. After we were done getting the tests done for the twins, we prepared to leave and there she sat, a member of my foster daughter’s biological family. If this person was kind, sweet, or even remotely tolerable this might not have been a big deal, but she’s not. She has inflicted pain on “my” baby. She has been a source of strife throughout the entire family since day one and she is a big reason why the babies are in foster care to begin with. She has yelled at me, lied to me, talked down to me, tried to intimidate me, and she is definitely NOT who I was hoping to run into today. The only solace I found during the whole ordeal was that Baby Girl has NO idea who this woman is anymore. Baby Girl was only six months old when she first came to us and now at almost two years old, she does not recognize or remember this woman. This woman does; however, remember her and one of the first things she tried to do was to take Baby Girl out of my arms. She started in with questions about the case and berated me for not sending her recent photos. I have been told by DHR countless times that this woman has NO chance of getting Baby Girl or Little Man in the end and that I am to feel no obligation to keep a relationship between the babies and her. So, I did what I knew to do. I held tight to my baby and I walked away. I told the woman that any and all questions needed to be directed to a case worker and that I could not answer questions about the case. It shook me up though and as I finally got away and sat down holding my baby, I felt the feelings of that all too familiar fight or flight response taking hold inside of me. “We’ve got to get as far away from here as possible,” I told the other foster mother with me. So, we did! We were done with what we needed to do and fortunately there was a back exit that we were ushered to, so that we could leave and find our car. We strapped the babies into their carseats and we got out of there.
So, now that this particular fear has been realized, I no longer fear a meeting like this anymore. Do I ever want to see this woman again? Nope! Will Baby Girl and I have to? Probably so, but next time I will do exactly what I did today. I know my place. My job is to protect Baby Girl and to love, care for, and nurture her while she is in my care. This sometimes includes protecting her from people related to her. Sometimes foster care takes you to places you would never go and sometimes it means dealing with people you’d hope to never have to deal with, but its all worth it! Because, if I had to feel uncomfortable and a little upset today, so that Baby Girl didn’t have to, so be it!