Ergh. I feel the need to get all of this rubbishy feeling stuff out onto somewhere, but now I’ve come to write it, I can’t figure out how to articulate the murky waters of my current emotions. May this rambling, unstructured post be a reflection of what the HQ of my brain is doing right now.
Basically just feeling pretty bad about myself and how I’m performing as a foster carer. I’ve feel like I’m always grumpy with the kids, constantly telling them to do something, then navigating the defiance and fallout when what we want them to do doesn’t align with what they want to do. And not navigating it well. I find myself frustrated rather than being all nurturing, I end up feeling all cross and often, at least one child ends up sulking or crying. It’s going SO well. A certain small person’s behaviour is becoming slowly more and more defiant, contesting facts that we give and things that need to be done.
“I want the green cup – it’s not fair!” “It’s NOT minus 2, it’s 2 degrees!” “No, I don’t want to go, it’s not fair” “No, I don’t want to listen to the story, we ALWAYS listen to the story [we don’t], it’s not fair!” “No-one ever listens to me [after refusing to listen to me tell said child to move and stop squashing a sibling]!” “I never sit in the middle, so-and-so always sits there…it’s not fair!” “Why? Why, why, why, why, why?”
And so on, and so forth. SO ANNOYING. The most annoying part, though? That I keep getting sucked into this cycle of moaning and end up making things worse. #fostercarerfailsagain
Another thing that has particularly struck home this week is the parents. These particular parents are lovely people, very compliant and all that – just incapable of maintaining a ‘good enough’ home and level of care. They have consistently not met the needs of their children, for most of the kids’ lives, and have made pretty bad choices in their own lives which has impacted their own capacity to manage themselves, let alone 3 kids. And yet this week, we’ve been told that they may, in fact, go home. After 2 months of all professionals being fairly certain that this would never happen. Quite a turn around. And I hear these parents talking in the review meeting, listening to them talking about what they’ve changed, how things will be different now…and I just do not know what to think. It’s not my place to make any sort of judgement, after all I have no say in what happens to these kids in the end, but I find it quite hard to remain completely impartial when it’s 3 kids’ futures on the line.
Not much movement on the attachment front, either. Still feel pretty bad about that, especially as everything seriously points to people ‘falling in love’ with their foster children. As one (pretty awesome) lady put it, I pretty much feel like a glorified babysitter. It does make me feel like a bit of a failure – like I’m not giving them the best care because of that, like they might be better off somewhere else – but hey ho.
I know that it’s me that’s the root of all this, after all, I’m the adult in these situations and cannot expect three young children who have had a pretty awful home life to be perfect and get things right. They need to know that their feelings, even if they’re frustrating me, are valid, and that it’s ok to feel those things. They need to know that we are here to help them manage those feelings and learn what to do with them. They need to know that they are loved, unconditionally. Even if we’re not ‘feeling’ the connection, they are still loved with a love that we cannot match, the love that God has for them. And ultimately, that is the most important thing.