A Foundation of Communication

The first few months after she was placed with us, my foster daughter’s mother had no visitation. That has changed now, and with the very real possibility of her returning to her mother at some point in the near future – we wanted to open the lines of communication.

We adore Little Miss, and we want the best for her. As foster parents, we know that the first priority of foster care is the preparation for reunification if possible. It isn’t a matter of who can provide the better home, it’s a matter of returning a child to their parent(s) IF the issues have been resolved to the court’s satisfaction.

In the case of Little Miss, it looks like the issues will be resolved soon. But having wormed her way into our hearts, we also care about what happens to her after she leaves our home.

“We need to build a foundation – one of trust and compassion,” I told my husband and daughter. “That way, we have done everything that we could to care for her and hopefully convey to her mother that we are not the enemy here.”

If things go downhill, if a job is lost or other issues arise, perhaps the mother will turn to us rather than go it alone. We can’t provide financial help, but we realized we both want to see the best happen for Angie, and we are more than willing to watch her or care for her again if the need arises.

So I asked a friend who also fosters, “Do you think I could write a note to her mom?”

She told me I absolutely could. And frankly, that was all the encouragement I needed. I had Em find me a nice, blank composition book and wrote the following two entries.

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

Hi!

A friend who is also a foster parent suggested I use a book to update and communicate with you and I thought it was a great idea. I’ll plan on sharing some day-to-day adventures and info, not just so you know of any issues, but also because as a mom, I know how much you miss [Little Miss]. She is a real sweetheart! I hope this keeps us connected better and that will be less unknown. If it were me, I know how much I would want to know.

In a couple of months my daughter is going on a trip with her grandmother for a month. I don’t know what I’m going to do, it will be so hard. In any case, I know it isn’t the same, but I can relate in other ways.

I know you are working hard to get her back, and as I told you when we first met, she is safe, well-loved and cared for, and she is waiting for you. I have faith that, although things move very slowly in courts, that you will be reunified with her soon.

You can ask me questions, let me know anything I need to know in regards to your daughter, and I look forward to us all being in better communication during this difficult time.

-Christine-

And then today I wrote the following entry. She hasn’t read the first one yet, but she will get both of them today.

Sunday, July 29th, 2018

-Daycare, Nature, and Songs-

I wanted to share a little of [Little Miss’s] day-to-day with you.

Monday through Friday she is in a very nice daycare. It is in the same building as where my husband works and they are wonderful with her. She’s playing with other children, they have their own private playground, and they learn different themes each week. Last week’s theme was the ocean.

[Little Miss] has started singing in the car and at the house. It is super-cute. Her favorite song is Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

We are building a fence on our property and there is a large yard. She wanders around, digging in the dirt, screaming when she finds a bug, and singing at the top of her lungs.

Recently my 11-year-old was at a Harry Potter summer camp and yesterday she and [Little Miss] were in the yard with sticks yelling different magic words. This must have stuck in her head, because today she found a little wand in the toybox and has been wandering about with it telling everyone “I magic!”

I washed her hair yesterday and picked out the snarls this morning but left it natural so you could work your magic on it. You make it look so good! She is looking forward to your visit today!

-Christine-

I will give the book to the parent aide when she comes to pick her up today…

 

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