In our experience, the state looks at removing children from single mothers in a low socioeconomic status group as a double benefit. To them, the mothers are not only unable to provide for their children but also have difficulties in providing for their own basic needs. After all, single mothers do not have access to the funds that the workers and foster parents have. SHOW THEM THAT THEY ARE WRONG! By all means necessary.
We all know that, regardless of our situations, we can, have, and will provide for the needs of our children. My grandchildren, I am certain just as your own children and grandchildren, were fed, clothed, received medical care, and had an abundance of love and toys. They were NEVER without having their needs or wants met in their mother’s care.
So often, on social media sites and personal blogs, I have read people talking about how much money the state and foster care parents receive while trying to steal the children from these families. This is true and I am not negating this claim. But, before you encountered the system, did you sit around and say “someone else has more money so they can provide for my children?” OF COURSE NOT!
We do not provide for our children simply to be allowed to be the ones to tuck them in at night. We do not provide for our children so that others will tell us we are doing a great job. We provide for our children because we love them and desire to make certain that their needs are met. We provide for our children because, just as it is our God given right to parent, it is also our God given responsibility to do so.
You are angry at the system. You may be angry at the worker or the foster parent. Your lawyer may have dropped the ball or the judge may not have listened. Your service providers may not comply with the court orders and you may have lost a job or missed hours of work due to this injustice. But you are not angry with you children and, even if you were, you would still provide for them because you LOVE them!
In some cases, the court orders support from the parents. While this may anger you further, DO NOT MISS A PAYMENT AND GO BEYOND IT! If, as was in our case support is not ordered, DO NOT TAKE THIS AS TIME OFF FROM YOUR RESPONSIBILITY! These are YOUR children and YOUR responsibility.
It WILL make a difference in your case and the way that the judge
views you as a parent.
We do not want to have to prove that we can and will provide for our children. This should just be understood. But we are not dealing with a normal situation. We are dealing with a war against our families and all ammunition must be utilized to bring your children home.
For us, we decided to make the visits easier on the children. When it was time to leave each visit, we would make a big deal about their gift bags that they could take “home” with them. These bags always included a small toy such as stickers or a book, a drink, individual lunches, some sort of fruit, a snack, and a Hershey kiss. Occasionally the bags would include hygiene items such as shampoo, new tooth brushes, or detangler spray. Do not get me wrong, this got expensive as we would not have bought all of the individually packaged items if the children were home as it would not be necessary. But we wanted to make sure that each day they knew that their mommy was providing for their needs. As a bonus, the foster mother noted that this made it much easier on her and the visitation provider commented on her notes each day what was brought for the children.
But most importantly, during the year that they tried to take this away from her, my daughter was able to feel like a mother!
This is a hard journey and this is just one other tip that helped us along our path to reunification. I pray that your journey finds the same ending. Please feel free to ask any questions about the bags or support that we provided and to share with others who may be going through this hell. I was once told that, once you are in the system, the only way out is through it. I hope these tips make your path through it a bit more endurable.
They may take your children, but they cannot take away your love for them!