Monday, February 12, 2007

Letting GO

My husband and I became foster parents a couple of years ago. My grandmother was one and so was my best friend's grandma so I knew when I was old enough and stable I want to be one too. We had a total of 4 kids during the time we were licensed. Three of them was respite and just stayed with us a few days here and there. But one we brought in our home full time. I didn't have any unrealistic expectations because she had been in the system for awhile and she was a teenager. We just wanted to bless and be a blessing.

As time went on we experienced many ups and downs with her. Through it all, our love for her grew so much so that she called me MOM. Thomas told her not to call him Dad because he didn't want people to think he was fast, lol. My girls absolutely adored her. I never used my respite time to send her to another family. Everywhere we went, she went. We gave her the best and then some. She went with us to family trips, outings, you name it. We loved her soo much that we decided to adopt her. No, things were not perfect but we felt that she had grown and was moving toward a positive direction.

It all came crashing down when her biological mom got back in the picture. One day she went to the nearby Wendy's for lunch and guess who was behind the counter? Yup her mom. We were stuck. We could deny her and have her resent us or include her mom and try to make things work. We chose option B. Maybe because I am a mom and I put myself in her mother's shoes. She had lost custody of all 4 of her kids, one of which she would never see, and I did not want to deny her. That was the beginning of the end.

Jealousy, envy, and competition on the bio mom's end started to cause problems. As a mother I would have been grateful to have someone love and care for my daughter if I wasn't able to. But she didn't see it that way. I was the enemy. I was taking her place. Fast forward a few months and the adoption is not going to happen. Our daughter doesn't want it and neither do we. She is in Texas living with family members and doing well. Yes it is sad because we miss her but we understand her need to be with people she share the same blood with.

I wish I could tell you that it ends well but it doesn't. Right now as I type "our" daughter is on the run with a warrant out for her arrest. She is only 16 years old and is facing serious jail time. Her bio mom is back in jail also. The other night I had a dream about her. When I awoke I began to think about all the things we went through, the good and the bad. I wondered how different her life would have been if things would have went forward like we planned. She would be finishing up her junior year in high school (she was one grade ahead), she would be driving the civic (I bought Thomas a new car for his birthday), she would be going to the prom, dances, and doing all the things a teenager should be doing.

I had a lot of guilt over the situation. Were we too hard or too soft? Should we have given more, or held back. Should we have talked to her more, or spent more time with her. Where did we go wrong? But then I realized that no matter how much you love a person, no matter how much you want them to succeed, no matter how much you give, unless they want the best for themselves.... it doesn't matter and it is not your fault. I once told her that I can't hold on if she has let go.

We still love and pray for our daughter. We still want the best for her and don't want any harm to come to her. But we understand that everyone has to stand on their own and take responsibility for their actions. We have the peace in knowing that we did all we could do, loved her like our own, and were great parents to her. She will never be able to say she did not know what it was like to have a real family, to be loved, and to feel like she belonged. We gave all of that to her. In the end, it is all on her to make better choices from here on out.

I know soo many people that are stuck in relationships and situations and they are trying so desperately to hold on. They want that friendship, that marriage, that relationship to work but the other person has already let go. They are afraid to admit it because they will think that they have failed if it doesn't last. But you have to search within yourself and realize that if you have done all you can do, loved all you can love, and gave all you can give, and that person won't stay, then it is time to LET GO!!! Let GO of the guilt, the worry, the what ifs, and the coulda, shoulda, wouldas. It is not your fault, LET IT GO!!! Q


CreoleInDC said...

You laid a foundation...she'll get it one day.

Enigma said...

Thank you for sharing this with us. All of the love you put in her, she will remember and she will appreciate it. I also want to say thank you because I needed confirmation about something that I decided to do, let a friend go who I felt had already walked away. I have let go. Thank you for that encouragment as well.

younganddebtfreebook said...

Thank you fos sharing that honest and truthful experience. You daughter knows what love is, and she knows what she experienced with you and your family. God willing she will do whats right fi her.