Thursday, August 18, 2011

Why do people care for children if they don't CARE for them?

Seriously. This question plagues infertiles. We have to stand by and watch a certain celebrity white trash blond hold her baby in her lap WHILE DRIVING, and people beat their kids in public, while we cradle our empty bellies and weep. It still makes me angry to see people being cruel to children they are supposed to be taking care of. Spitting, seething mad. Why the hell do they have children if they don't want them? What happened today wasn't actual abuse, but for the damage it will probably cause it should be.

I have a co-worker that adopted an infant from foster care last year. She is a little over a year old now. This co-worker, I'll call him George, and his wife, we'll call her Kate, decided to renew the foster license last year. They were originally adoption only, like us, but were matched with the baby and then given 30 days to get a foster license. They decided to renew it because they heard the birth mom of their baby was due to have another one. They wanted to keep the license so that they could take immediate custody when the baby was born. This is the important part to remember - they had no interest in fostering. They ONLY wanted to be available for the biological sibling of their daughter.

About a month ago I got a call on a Sunday night from George. He told me they had accepted an emergency placement of two girls that was only supposed to be for the weekend. The case worker had just called to tell them that it was going to be indefinite unless the couple refused, in which case the girls would go to a group home. George and Kate did not want them to go to a group home, but they didn't want to keep them. They asked me if I could take them. Of course I had to say no because my husband won't even consider foster care of any kind. I was upset but thought the girls would be well taken care of. Boy was I wrong.

The younger girl can't read (she's 7) and is totally resistant to any education. Kate is a teacher and can't stand that. George is an intellectual snob, he constantly makes fun of 'rednecks' and people he sees as inferior. They keep pushing the girls to catch up with their peers and complain when the girls refuse to cooperate. At first I thought they were doing the best they knew how and would just have to learn how to deal with the frustration. But now I am appalled at how these two are acting.

I babysat for them one night. We had a great time. The girls are respectful and obedient. The only issue they have (and I confirmed this with George) is a resistance to new things, like reading every day and eating vegetables. Hmm . . . let's see. Two girls removed from drug addict parents that probably never read a book in their lives. They just lost their entire family; mom, dad, and four siblings. The closest they've probably ever been to a vegetable is the french fries at mcd's. And you are expecting them to LIKE getting pushed to excel at school and eat all their vegetables? Really?

Now that issue I would just put up to slightly bad parenting. It's the rest of what I hear from George that makes me boiling mad. He makes fun of their accents. He makes fun of their fear of sharks. He makes fun of their family and pretty much everything about their lives. He openly complains that he wants them gone and him and Kate go out of their way to exclude them. They take the two foster kids to daycare and not their adopted daughter, who gets to stay home with mom all day. They brought the two foster kids to me to babysit and took their adopted daughter to grandma's. They went on vacation out of state and because of the rules had to leave the girls in respite care. They waited a day and a half to pick them up after they got back in town and when the girls asked them why, they told them the paperwork said they couldn't pick them up before such and such a date. George and Kate don't want the girls to refer to the house they live in as 'home'. George actually corrected me when I asked him when they brought them 'home'. In short, they are treating the girls they agreed to take care of like unwanted house guests.

They took the same classes I did. The ones where we were told to treat foster children NO DIFFERENTLY then our own children. They don't want those girls and even though I'm sure they don't say these things in front of them, those girls know they aren't wanted. They know that they are not as important to George and Kate as the baby is. They know they will be dropped like dog poo the moment the baby's sibling is born. IT'S KILLING ME TO WATCH THIS. Why the fuck did they take a placement if they weren't going to CARE for those kids?

I still can't convince my husband to try foster care. From some of what he said I think it is more baseless fear and self doubt than a legitimate problem. He claims he will be distant with foster kids because he is afraid of losing another child. I think it is a cop-out because he has insecurity issues with his ability to be a father. I'm so PISSED he's not willing to even try to work on it. His solution is to stick his head in the sand and wait for me to give up. He is genuinely sorry that it is breaking my heart, but not sorry enough to try to change it. I don't know how I can keep hearing these stories and not forcing him to do something. I know I can't save everyone, but I KNOW I can provide a loving home for those girls.

I'm signing my whole family up for counseling. If we can't work through this we won't make it. I either need to find another outlet for my mothering instincts or he needs to expand his comfort zone. I'm fucking tired of always being the one to compromise. When is it my turn?

1 comment:

  1. That breaks my heart Jen, it really does. It's wrong.

    I hope that your husband engages well with the counselling and the two of you can work out a situation you're both happy with. Preferably your first choice.