On the Fringe of the Dark SidePosted: February 4, 2009
Last night, Mr. Man and I went to the CPS building to take a required class for our foster parenting license. As we went toward the front door, we witnessed a young woman, obviously distraught, crying and agitated.
“And she’s pregnant again. How can they keep letting her…and now a baby is dead!” Is part of what we overheard.
We ducked into the building then, just as what we assumed was a CPS official tried to comfort the girl. Inside the lobby, the tension was thick, the anger and grief palpable. Out of respect, (and, I admit, a small sense of self-preservation) we try not to make eye-contact. But I couldn’t help sliding a surreptitious glance toward the small group of people. What was their story, I wondered.
Once in the classroom, we didn’t learn much more. Of course, propriety kept the officials from discussing specifics. What we did hear was that eight children were removed from a home that day, stair-stepped in age ranging from one to eleven. And the three-year-old was dead. And the mother is pregnant again.
The roomful of prospective parents groaned and immediately offered to take any of the remaining children, even thought we all knew it was a token offer, since most of us aren’t licensed yet. The Developer said we’d have to take the lice infestation, too, as a way of letting us further know part of the horrible circumstances of this so-called home.
What a reminder for us that this probably won’t be a simple “Oh, look, someone wants us to look after a baby and maybe we can adopt it” type situation. In order for us to achieve our dream, something bad has to happen in someone else’s life. And that’s a heartbreaking thought.
While we want to adopt, we know that by going the foster to adopt route, the very real possibility of fostering a child and then having to return him to his family is a concern. The whole goal of protective services, we were taught, was to heal families and reuinify them, if possible. So when we do foster a child and end up having to give him back, we hope to at least be something good in his life at a time when he needs it. Our motives aren’t purely selfish. 🙂
It promises to be a memorable, sometimes difficult, yet ultimately rewarding journey.
UPDATE: The child’s death has been ruled a homicide.