I have been really angry lately. The world is full of injustice. I believe to my core in fighting for what is right, but it is so hard to press on. Beneath the anger, there is deep sense of sorrow. The weight of it all is so heavy, and I am tired of carrying it.
As much as I knew in the beginning that fostering and adopting would be hard, I still long for my happy ending. Another trauma mama called it grieving unmet expectations. Parenting children from hard places is difficult enough, but the systems in place designed to support our families often seem to add to our burden instead.
Why is this so hard? No policy or program or legislation can resolve the problems at hand because the answers are found in relationships. We must cultivate empathy and respect for other human beings who, like us, are trying to make sense of the mess that is child welfare.
Social workers are overworked and underpaid, sacrificing their own family time to serve families in crisis, only to be often criticized and rarely appreciated.
Families battle poverty, addiction, mental illness, and homelessness with court ordered case plans that don't address their deepest needs or generate lasting change to reunite their family.
Foster families have stacks of paperwork, regulations, and a calendar full of court dates, home visits, meetings, and therapies to keep track of in addition to feeding, clothing, nurturing, and disciplining children in their care.
Adoptive parents select an agency, hire an attorney, sacrifice financially, organize fundraisers, wait patiently and often endure the heartbreak of a failed match when another family is chosen or the plan for the child changes at the last minute.
At the end of the day, most of us are doing the best we can with what we have in front of us. Stand firm and fight for what is right, but don't forget to be kind. Offer some gratitude for the sacrifice the person across the room is making. After all, they are here for the same reason you are. The children.