Has this thought ever crossed your mind? Think about it. Be honest with yourself. No one is judging you here.
I'm not proud of it. But it's crossed my mind. Now, I understand some of you guys have perfect situations where everything is "fine and dandy" and you don't have any problems with any of your kids, but...
Sorry if the sarcasm is too much. In this time of quarantine, of Self (or family) isolation, this can be hard. Heck, in non-quarantine times, this can be tough. There are days where you just want to throw in the proverbial towel.
Can I share something with you? It's ok to think that.
Whether you are at the very beginning of your foster care or adoption journey, whether you are wanting to quit because you went through all of the paperwork and the classes, it's been a year and you have yet to get a placement, all of these scenarios "fit the bill".
What do you do in these situations? A helpful exercise for me is to ask these questions?
1. Am I inconvenienced? Can I be real with you a second? If you want to quit due to an inconvenience, I need you to put your big boy pants on and suck it up. Why do I say that? Because I've said it to myself 1,000 times. There are times where I want to do something, something important. Sometimes something that isn't important at all, and my kids side track me with something they want to show me or do. If I'm real, I've said some really stupid things in the past. Sometimes our kids just have bad days. We need to come to the realization that it is not ok to quit due to an inconvenience. For those who are stuck in waiting for a placement, may I ask what types of limitations did you put on your paperwork. If you want a newborn child with blonde hair, blue eyes, and no issues whatsoever, there's a reason you are still waiting. Open up your possibilities, take a chance, be brave. Expand your age range, take a more riskier child. These children need loved and cared for no matter what label they have.
2. If I Quit, What Is It Going to Do to the Child? This one gets me every time. I mean think about it. This child or these children that are in your household have just been pulled from everything they have ever know. They are given a certain amount of time to pack up what belongings they can and they are placed with you. This could be their first placement, or it could be their 8th (seriously). Think about what it may do to the child. If it is going to cause more pain, more trauma, please think about sleeping on it. Really think about the decision you are going to make. Your decision could impact the present and future well-being of this child's life.
3. Is It A Safety Concern? This may be a question you and/or your wife have to ask. You may have a bio son or daughter in your home prior the foster child being placed with you. If that foster child is physically harming your bio child, you may need to ask this question. If you have a child who takes their anger out by verbally or physically abusing you and/or your wife. You may need to ask this question. Personally, I feel this is the only question that gives you a pass in quitting. You must know what you and your family can handle. Have you tried the endless amounts of therapies and appointments to help combat these behaviors and they just won't stop? Maybe it is time, not to quit, but give that child the opportunity to thrive elsewhere.
Think of these questions like a sandwich. If we're honest, most of us eat a sandwich for the meat, right? The bread can be important, but the meat is what we are in it for. Question #2 is the meat. This is the question we need to focus on. It cannot be all about us, though safety is important. It's all about the kids.
So the next time you want to quit, ask yourself these three questions, give yourself some time to think on them, and make a conscious, informed decision before quitting.