Marriage; year three

On the eve of my three year wedding anniversary, I think about every tear shed, argument fought, mountain faced that Jeffery and I have been through. I thank God that we continue to have the strength to hold true to our vows and face everything head on…together.

There have been times we went to bed angry at each other, stormed out mid fight, laid in bed together sobbing as we faced things no couple should ever go through. There have been times we didn’t want to admit that we were in the wrong and said hurtful words. I thank God that we continue to have the strength to hold true to our vows and face everything head on…. together.

There has never been a love as fierce and raw as the love I have for Jeffery. Falling in love was easy. Then our flaws appeared, life threw obstacles and the feeling quickly changed. We had to work together. We had to put forth energy and really work for our love.

This world is becoming a hunt for perfection and instant gratification. We forget that people aren’t perfect, we are all flawed. A handful of friends of mine are divorcing quicker than ever. I don’t know each specific situation, and I can’t judge their situation, so I won’t. But if perfection is what you are out to seek, don’t commit to one person forever. Everyone has flaws.

Friends, young, old, courting, dating, engaged. Listen up! Marriage is HARD. Marriage is emotional, messy, raw, real, and the greatest thing ever. Marriage doesn’t come with a manual. It doesn’t foresee the future of infertility, miscarriage, death, health issues, or children…When the going gets rough and you’re at the bottom of that mountain looking up, don’t run. Grab your partners hand and climb that mountain.

Three years into marriage and he has seen me at my absolute worst, yet he gripped my hand tighter instead of turning the other direction for perfection that doesn’t exist. His eyes have met mine before surgeries and because of his unfailing love, I see him on that very day that we committed our lives to one another instead of fear of the unknown.  Jeffery and I have been through things that should have torn us apart. We have experienced struggles that newlyweds with  little experience should have given up on. When  you find something you can live for, don’t ever let it go. Stay. The storm will pass and the love will be stronger than it was before the storm appeared. I promise.

On this day, I thank God that I didn’t hunt for perfection and I stayed with a person that I love. Flawed like me. There is nothing in this world that can replace the feeling. Work for love. it’s worth every bead of sweat that you will produce.

P&D (45 of 109)

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losing our foster daughter helped my marriage

* Let me state beforehand, my marriage was by no means in immediate danger of being disrupted. Our marriage was in a rocky moment and that was 100% attributed to foster care. *

It is hard to believe that a month has come and gone since we lost little girl. Her case was a whirlwind of emotions, frustrations, and moments I would never wish on anyone. When we received the news that her worker was putting in a 14 day notice, I was distraught. I fought so hard to have that reversed, simply because I cared for her. When a letter came to our home, hand delivered on a Friday at 8am informing us that we would be parting ways in 48 hours, I was even more devastated. I don’t have the energy to go into detail about our final hours together or how much my heart aches as a result of losing little girl.

Foster care is hard. There is nothing to prepare a couple for what is to come. Each case comes with its own burdens and challenges. When you are completing the licensing process, DHS makes sure that they inform the parents that there are measures in place to prevent burnout, and that when we need a break from the trials that it will be readily available to us. Unfortunately, in our county we are down 50 homes and the number of children needing homes is on the rise. There is a large deficit in the home to kid ratio. There is not that promised respite care to free us for a moment. It’s quite sad, but makes a lot of sense.

My husband and I cannot and do not have our own children. I can only speculate what having a forever child is like, but I imagine it to be a much easier task than having the state breathing down your back and having to deal with workers, judges, and lawyers.

In our two years as foster parents we have experienced a lot of turmoil. Each case varied, some being easy, some caseworkers being supportive and loving towards us. This makes for a smooth placement, easy table talk and all around happy life. When a worker is less supportive, manipulative, bossy and rude, it takes a toll on you, your relationships and most importantly, marriage.

Little girls case was our hardest by far. We were tested, stressed and angry. Looking back on it now, I see how angry and tense I was all the time. Majority of our discussions were angry with our caseworker and  that in turn spilled over into my relationship with my husband. Our lives were completely upside down and we argued a lot about little things, simply because of the pressure from the state and the lack of control we had in making decisions for little girl. When you in the moment, its hard to see that. You think everything is fine and the bickering becomes a daily part of life, it seems natural.

I never imagined that the day little girl walked out of our home would be the day that the stress associated with her case would disappear as quick as it came into our lives. We found that the phone was quieter, emails weren’t pinging in at all hours and we had time for ourselves again.

My husband and I only had each other. We had to learn to lean on one another again and cope with the loss we were dealt with. It made us think about the lack of attention our marriage was getting. We knew we needed to change that and focus on one important thing….. US!  At first it was weird, for the first time in over 7 months we were alone, no little person following us around. Eventually we began to enjoy our freedom, and took on a new hobby, more intimate moments, and focused on why we fell in love to begin with. Our marriage was no longer being deprived and the life was coming back to it.

Realizing how much we needed each other made us think about where our next chapter needs to begin. We know that right now foster care isn’t for us. Becoming parents is not that important if it means our marriage has to take the backseat because the state is in a deficit and our lives will be turned upside down.

Its sad that our hearts had to be broken again, its even more sad to have lost another child, but I know that God has everything happens for a reason and he knew that my marriage was more important than some child that may or may not have been with us forever.

As for the hubby and I, we love the fact that we can kayak, go wine tasting and enjoy being a couple and focus on a positive relationship instead of a stressful foster care relationship. I am unsure of what direction we will head next. for now, we are busy enjoying the summer and picking up the pieces from little girl.

it was all a lie

There is no doubt that our journey as foster parents has literally put us  through hell and back when it comes to our experience with the foster system.

Most people know an overview of our story and see bits and pieces of what we endure, but I have yet to be completely transparent with how we have actually been treated and what experiences we have gone through with DHS. until now….

I remember a time when we were so excited to begin our journey to become parents. We knew right away that things wouldn’t be easy, not every placement would be a “for keeps” baby, but we knew this was our only shot at one day having a forever baby. The money that we received from our wedding ( a fairly decent amount) went towards an egress window ( required by law) and towards gathering items to complete a nursery. In the back of my mind I wished we could spend the money on us and not on a window, but we knew it would be worth it.

As we began the journey, it all seemed so easy. They promised a support system, quality case workers, a no stress mindset if we signed up for foster care. Looking back, I should have known the background checks, endless paperwork, reference letters, and fingerprinting was a beginning sign of the headaches foster parenting would bring us.

The truth is, since our very first placement, nothing has been easy. I have given up my career, flushed money down the drain, and gone through thousands of tylenol in hopes of helping my endless headache all this has been, to try and be the parent and foster parent they wanted us to be.

Going through each individual case is a moot point now. I can only bring up what we are experiencing in the here and now. I can only be truthful with the feelings that I harbor in my mind and heart right now.

This isn’t about the children we have helped, because honestly, that’s a lie. As a person you can keep telling yourself that’s what foster parents do, is help children. In reality, we are the best thing for them, and the system blatantly wastes millions in tax payers dollars and precious time of people who have a genuine love for children.. all on the people in society who aren’t worth it.

Excuse my language here, but shit is about to hit the fan. and sadly, I am most certain our journey as  {foster} parents is coming to an abrupt end.

The case with little girl has been the final straw, a long time coming. We are left with situations that are out of our control, a lack of support, and two exhausted parents who have had meals burned, an anniversary ruined all because those promises made way back when were a lie. In the last week, I have been yelled at by a case worker, lied to, and expected to give my every waking second for a child that isn’t even mine.

Little girl was removed due to neglect and some other serious allegations. She is lacking immensely. At 2 years old, she is a whopping 23 lbs and severely malnourished. She has many needs that the case worker is mandating that many people would not be able to drop everything in their life for. Unfortunately, the goal is still reunification.

I am only 1 person. I have a job, medical needs, a husband, a home, a life…. no one should be expected to deal with the drama like we have.

There are genuine concerns that need to be brought to the table, yet no one sees them as being legit or necessary to address in a timely fashion. We have been mistreated and left made fools.The entire foster system screams disorganized.

Some may see this as us giving up. Call it what you will, but the stress that we are dealing with us much bigger than myself, my husband and our marriage. I want so desperately want to become a mother, but I cant continue this.

I am honestly not sure where we will be in a couple of weeks, or how long little girl will be with us, but we have checked out.  be thinking of her. ultimately she will go back to the shit conditions, lack of attention and its sad that she may be sentenced to that life after having us for months.

We are sorry to have failed you all who believed in us , those who thought we could stick through the placements in hopes of adopting via foster care. This is just too big..

please send all the baby and money dust possible. adoption is not an option for us, and our last chance at becoming parents lies in our surrogates body and the money to pay for surrogacy.

Some days……I just can’t

Infertility sucks. every single day I ache. I ache for a baby, for a way of parenting that doesn’t require consent forms, court, 3rd party parenting, and parenting times.

Little girl has been a complete joy. In her short 110 days here, she has made great strides, and overcome issues that I thought we wouldn’t be able to hurdle over. As usual, in typical kid fashion, she has shown resiliency and adaptability in being a kid who, given the chance can overcome the impossible and thrive with the correct family.

Lately I haven’t had it in me to document our foster parenting journey. The end of the day comes and I am just exhausted. It takes everything in me to finish the day and rest up for the next day of drama.

because, quite frankly, it sucks. I just cant keep putting myself through the emotional trauma, added stress, and struggles that go with this journey to becoming a parent. I feel like every time I have a need to blog its a complaint and the same old story of disgust. It has been mentioned many times that our area has a foster parent deficit. I know exactly why…. The way we are treated and the expectations set for us are unrealistic and stressful on a marriage. The expectation that we are required to do everything correctly and the emphasis that birth parents only need to do sup par expectations is taxing and creates a toxic situation for all involved.

I don’t know what direction we are headed as foster parents or how easy our surrogacy journey will play out. I do know that in the coming weeks we prepare to go off the grid and leave behind the stress of foster parenting and focus on us as a couple. A couple who has endured so much in just under 2 years with 4 children who have entered our home and left a mark on our hearts.