Updated: Mar 18
Can I be real for a second? Parenting is hard enough. Add the layers of foster care and adoption into it, and typically it sends us over our boiling point. While I am not saying it's not hard for your wives, it is extremely hard for us dads to work through. Statistics show that dads are more apprehensive to want to foster or adopt children within the system.
The next point will not be suitable for all dads, but I would venture to guess it would describe most, including myself. It comes down to control.
If we are honest with ourselves, we like control. Men, in general, are fixers. If something is wrong with our wives, we want to fix it, while most of the time they get angry at us and just want us to listen. When something breaks in our house, we typically like to try and fix it ourselves because it gives us a sense of accomplishment and control. If our kids play sports or take up a hobby, we like to practice with them outside of practice to see if we can control their destiny now and in the future. Catch my drift? This is me 100%
Well, unfortunately, that's not the way that the "system" works. The system does not give us control of anything. They control what our house looks like. They control whether or not we are suitable to be parents. They control whether we get placed with a child or not. They control whether or not the child goes back to their biological parents whether we agree or disagree. Some may argue (myself included) that the system is broken. While I believe that is true, sometimes this thought comes at the cost of us losing all control of everything.
That's why foster care and adoption is hard for us guys.
So the question remains - what can we do? We can love. We can only control what we can control and that is ourselves. Yes, we can fight for the child in court. Yes, we can advocate for the child to our GALs. However, it is still up to a judge to make the final decision. Therefore, it's beyond our control.
That being said, we can control how much we love our children. We can control ourselves when they do something absolutely stupid. We can control the amount of food and clothing they have. We can control how much we love them.
So make it count. Love them with every fiber of your being. Make them feel loved in the good times and the bad. THAT is what YOU can control.