sibling visit leads to nightmares

We had a visit with the bio sibling who is in a kinship placement in care. Since both girls are in care, they are required to visit at least once per quarter. This was our first in the seven months since Jo Jo was removed. Older sis is sweet, sassy, and somewhat naughty (but for her age, this is expected). They “played” together for an hour at the agency, and that was that. I looked for physical resemblances, but didn’t really see many. They have different fathers of different ethnicities, but I thought I might see something.

I wanted to do sibling visits on my own with the two siblings who live within driving distance, but once I was told that I had to do them, it played a psychological mind-trick on me, and I felt reluctant. This was our first visit of any kind, and the first time Jo Jo was required to come to the agency. It was just a tangible reminder that she is NOT my daughter yet, she is in foster care, and I have no control over who she sees or when or how. I did want to do the visit, I do want her to maintain a connection to her siblings if we can, but I don’t like being told to do it.

I then had a horrible, long, and detailed nightmare that Jo Jo’s bio mom came back and wanted to work a plan to reunify. She was really nice, in the dream, and trying really hard to be a better mom and get her kids back. I supported that, of course, but I was completely heartbroken. Ever since that dream, the fear in my heart that this daughter, who will always be my daughter in my heart, may have to leave me someday. There is a stranger out there who could come and take her back any time. There is a judge who could wrench her away from the only family she knows on a whim. I have no say, no rights, no control, even though I’m the only mother she has or remembers having.

I’m pretty broke, so for Christmas I was thinking of getting close family the usual cutesy new baby stuff. A handprint Christmas ornament for my grandma, framed photos, etc. But since the dream, I can’t bring myself to even do professional family portraits with Jo Jo for fear that she will then be gone, and the photos will only bring us great pain down the road.

I don’t think I’ll be able to take a full breath until adoption is final, and we are a VERY LONG way even from TPR. When you adopt from foster care, this kind of thing can, and often does, break a person. If I lose my Jo Jo, I will be totally lost as well. I won’t know how to start over, and I certainly don’t think I would be able to foster to adopt again. Pregnancy is possible, but equally scary, as I also don’t know if I could face another stillbirth or placental abruption. I love being a mom, I love being her mom. Who, and what, will I be if they take her from me?

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Categories: baby loss, foster care

8 Comments »

  1. Oh honey…hang in there. I walked this path with a dear friend of mine I did respite for who went through this. It was a happy ending and TPR just happened.
    Hang in there, keep putting all the postive thoughts you can out there. I will too.
    Lots of love from the pacific NW.

  2. You are very strong for taking this path. Get those pictures done so you both have those memories. Even if she does get reunified with her birth mother, she might want those memories when she’s older. If you don’t do the cutesy baby presents, will you regret it?

  3. I can’t imagine how it feels to live every day with the threat that Jo Jo can be taken from you. You are a wonderful mother and she is so lucky to have you. Saying prayers that you will be forever family very soon!

  4. Do the pictures. You will treasure them no matter what! If the unthinkable happens you will be glad to have the beautiful shots and if she becomes your permanent daughter, you will be happy to have them too.

  5. The uncertainty is one of the many reasons I couldn’t foster or attempt to adopt from foster care. You are a stronger woman than I am. Sending lots of good wishes and know that whichever choice you make about pictures or whatever will be the right one for you.

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