I've had foster care on the brain the better part of this week. I know, I know- "well duh!? You ARE a foster mom."
Some days that fact barely registers. With no visits I can sometimes get away with "forgetting" that we are in this weird limbo place where we are a family but not quite legally. We handle school, work, dinner, and bedtime. Rinse. Repeat. At least on days where trauma doesn't rear its ugly head....
I've missed the Fab Four tremendously this week. I found out that Solana's (baby sister) bio dad accepted a plea deal and got out jail. So I'm wondering about the case plan and visits. Sheila texted me and I read another book by Ashley Rhodes-Courter, Three More Words. It's the sequel to her memoir about growing up in foster care. In this book, she shares her experience as a foster parent navigating the system and also incorporating her biological family into her life.
I feel so helpless to help the other 400,000 kids in foster care. While I realize being the foster mom to the 8 I've had in my home has been critical to their lives- what about the rest? There aren't enough foster homes, let alone, quality foster homes. The court system is bound by regulations and not common sense and I'm just totally frustrated by it all. I'm sure a lot of this has to do with Solana because I can't help but worry about her.
How do we change it? How do we make it so we help the kids and families that need it efficiently, and expeditiously, with quality? How do we move the kids through to permanency who have no hope of reunification without the additional traumas? How do we stop them from getting hurt in the first place?
How do we get the states with the most asinine rules to reform? After reading about stuff happening in New York, Florida, and Texas, Illinois almost looks like it has its act together.
And I feel sad for all the kids and families living in this alternate universe of foster care. The rest of the world going about their business while families in crisis scramble for peace.