It’s one of those concepts I can’t quite completely get my head around. What makes a HOME instead of a home where we go to sleep and get up the next day? It’s definitely more than just a place to lay our heads. I guess for me it’s a place that feels both emotionally and physically safe. That’s a kind of definition, but I can’t help but think that it misses some crucial intangible bit. Maybe that song saying “home is where the heart is” got right. It’s not just a place so much as a feeling. I really want all of the kids in our house to have a sense of HOME, and I hope that as they grow older they come to cherish the concept as I do.
I keep thinking about this because social services is moving kids from the city out of houses with families that have cared for them and moving them back into group homes in the city (they don’t have enough foster homes). The reasoning hasn’t been clearly explained to me, but that’s probably because my wife and are but plebs in the system of fostercare. Reasons I have heard range from the kids need to be physically near their parents (even if the kids show up for visits and family does not) and the counties are tired of spending resources taking care of children from the city. What I don’t see is anyone with power making the argument for why this is “best for the kids” or even “better than the current situation for the kids.” That is really troublesome.
I will say that if the social workers come to take A, I’m not sure we will continue foster care. I have always accepted that kids may leave our house for better situations…read reunification with family or they need more care than we can give. What I have a hard time with is them leaving for a situation nobody is even pretending is in their best interests. I have a hard time working this much and growing close to the kids to have them put into worse situations when they leave our house. I want to believe the kids go on to new and better places. I don’t want this to be like the little kid told their dog has gone to uncle Joe’s farm to chase rabbits. If they leave our house, I want it to be because uncle Joe does have a cool farm where their problems will be lessened or at least confronted with their family by their side. I want it to be because they left the HOME we try to foster for another even better suited for them HOME. I want there to actually be an uncle Joe, and I want him to have a farm.
I know my wife and I have plans to rent out an apartment in the city and just maintain 2 homes till we can adopt A if necessary, but this is a problematic balm to a messy problem if it comes down to it. Getting an apartment and then getting it cleared with all necessary authorities is not an instant process. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it looks like we may not have the warning if it ever comes to be. I mean we are lucky to have the 2nd home as an option (some money is a good thing), but I really feel for the other families who don’t have this option. It’s not like fostering pays much. Thankfully, it doesn’t look too likely right now as A has medical issues that many homes would not be equipped to deal with, but…
I guess this is just another way fostering is like and unlike regular parenting. It’s like in that we all worry about unlikely events and unlike in that we have just have a few more to add to all the normal risks.