Not Staying

Yesterday 9yr old Flora* and 7yr old Marcus* returned to their mother. It was expected. A few weeks ago in court, the judge made it clear he’d be ruling this way at the hearing on March 18. The social workers were surprised by this. As far as they could see there was good reason to keep the children in foster care. As far as I could see there was good reason. However the judge disagreed.

“It’s too bad,” my social worker said. “The kids have a really good situation here with you. More than likely they’ll be back in a short while. But you’re can’t wait around for that.”

It’s true, I can’t. There are some children over the years I’ve waited for. As much as I liked these two, I can’t wait for them to return to foster care.

Our time together was just short of 6 weeks. That seems to be my limit. All three of the placements I’ve had with Children’s Aid have been 6 weeks. Strange. Every other local foster parent I encounter averages 1 year. Not me. So far it’s been short and not so sweet. With the expectation of returning to birth parents or going to other family members looming over the kids heads it’s hard to make a connection.

Flora’s parting words offered me a bit of comfort. “I wish I could live with you and my mom because I really like being her.”

Our brief time together wasn’t always pleasant. I found myself getting frustrated with the mounds of garbage they left around the house. Marcus’s toileting issues wore on me. Flora often wanted to bake with me, but sometimes I wanted to be left alone. It wasn’t my finest moments as a foster parent. Don’t think I didn’t try at all. I did. I organized a lovely birthday party for Flora. I listened to all of Marcus’ jokes. We read books together when my own girls were in bed. I took good care of them. It just wasn’t a great time for any of us. They wanted to be with their mom. And she kept telling them that was going to happen – very soon. Before that announcement, they were settling in. Flora even told her teacher I was going to adopt her. Marcus kept talking about all the fun we’d have in summer. Staying wasn’t a bad thing when there were no other options. When going back to mom became the plan, staying became very unappealing. So we all just hung on until yesterday’s court date.

Since their departure I’ve rearranged all three children’s rooms. That’s what I do. I rearrange the furniture as I put my life back together. We’re back to our little family of 3 for a few days. Friday we’re expecting 3 visitors for the weekend. In addition to my 6yr old and 4yr old girls, I will have a 6yr old boy, 5yr old girl, and 2yr old boy. They’ll just be with us until Sunday while their foster parents go on vacation.

The house is not quite ready for our next adventure so I have no pictures.

I wasn’t able to get any non-identifying photos of Flora & Marcus, so not pictures.

I’ll leave it all to your imagination. Mine is currently running wild as I think of the upcoming weekend. It’s sure to be an adventure.

*name changed

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