Breaking the Silence in the New Year

I’m not even sure where to begin here … it’s been quite a while (“hiatus” indeed, right?!). I suppose I’m here to reflect. How unique of me to do around New Years.

2013 has been certainly the most memorable year of my life – the highest of highs and lowest of lows. A quick review:

  • January 20 – E proposed, I said yes!
  • February – E and I officially start our journey toward foster parenthood by attending an info session
  • March – MAPP classes begin
  • June 27 – We became parents to a beautiful 10 month old
  • August – We celebrated Monica’s first birthday
  • August 23 – We said tearful goodbyes to our first child
  • August 24 – Our wedding shower
  • November 9 – E and I said “I do,” the happiest day of our lives.
  • Our first holidays together as a married couple

I’ve tried many times to blog here again, and I never quite know where to start. I’m all too aware that my readers (if indeed I still have readers) are a dizzying mix of people who know every detail of what has transpired over the past four months, those who know just enough, and those who know nothing at all. As I’m sure those of you who don’t know have guessed, E and I are no longer parenting Monica. Though I cannot (nor do I want to) rehash the whole story here (I know, I’m sorry), Monica was moved from our home at the end of August. We are no longer privy to information about her, but we believe she is still in foster care. She was moved to another home in our state, and is (per account from a social worker months ago) doing well. I’ve had the past four + months to think about (in detail) all of the broken components of this system that, from our perspective, failed Monica, us, and countless future foster children we most likely will not care for. Despite all of this time, we still can’t quite sort out all that we’ve been through, and why. 

When it comes to Monica’s departure from our care, the most difficult thing for us was how sudden everything happened. From the time we found out about the move to the time we said goodbye was less than an hour. Neither of us were prepared for the total lack of time to prepare ourselves, say goodbye, pack her things … it was a truly upsetting emotional experience. Worst of all, poor Monica was just as suddenly thrust into yet another world she didn’t know, with not one familiar face. E and I are so lucky to have had our amazing support system of friends and family to help us through the loss; Monica had to deal with loss on her own, with only new people around to help her through. Unfortunately, our ability to grieve was disrupted significantly due to our need to deal with the workings of a broken system, including protecting ourselves. We had done so much to prepare ourselves to say goodbye to Monica. In fact, we knew it was an inevitability. Regardless, nothing could have prepared us for the manner in which we eventually had to say goodbye. Only now, more than four months later, have we begun to be able to talk about Monica, laugh about her quirks, bring her up in casual conversation … It was only two weeks ago that we went through all of her things and started the daunting task of dismantling the nursery.

Although all of the things that drove us to foster parenthood still remain, at this point, we are not fostering. I believe we may revisit fosterhood at some point, but for now we need to focus on healing from our experience and starting our lives together. Obviously, we’ve had quite a year! Our wedding was so perfect, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be legally wed (it really does feel different!). We are hopeful that Monica is in a good home, continuing to thrive and to transfer her healthy attachments to her new foster parent. This year saw us become parents, and now we are parents without children. I truly hope (and believe) that 2014 will be a year of healing, of love, and maybe even pursuit of parenthood (foster or otherwise) again. 

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8 thoughts on “Breaking the Silence in the New Year

  1. Dear K and E,
    this is so heartbreaking and I am sure you must have suffered while you wrote it. Hopefully, it can be a bit cathartic and remind you of how much you gave that sweet little girl; how you saved her at a time she needing saving; and keep close, that she KNOWS love because she got it from you both (and the big dog).
    love,
    pam

  2. Hi K and E,
    What you’re describing with Monica’s removal sounds dead on like the removal of my first foster son “Doc” in November 2012. Please go back through my blog and read it! I have since closed my home and will not take any other children for the time being. Since Docs removal, I fostered 4 more babies and called it quits for good with minor placements because of the absolute terror I feel around having a third baby pulled from my home (Doc’s county worker was assigned to my 4th foster son and pulled him within 2 hours of being assigned to his case, accused me of abusing him, i was investigated) and then given my last baby who I requested be move due to fearing the county worker tearing my foster baby away.
    I am very willing to speak with you about this and support you. I am over 15 months out of Doc’s removal and have found peace in it. Email me directly at Heldstrong@gmail.com

  3. Monica was so lucky to have you both, even for a short while. There are so many sadnesses and frustrations in this scenario. There are no winners this time. Just harsh realities for two wonderful people and one innocent child.

  4. Good to hear from you! I had suspected Monica was no longer with you, but even in as brief of detail as you did, it was hard to read. Congrats on your nuptials ladies, and as hard and broken as the system is, I do believe foster parents are doing good work for babies and children (even when it’s not permanent). Sam.

  5. I love the statement, parents without a child. I am about to experience my first child leaving. Although under different circumstances, I do feel a sense of loss and then complete irritation when I think about how horrible our system can be. I pray for your heart, chin up and thank you for your transparency.

  6. I just found your blog for the first time and this was the first post I read. It feels like there’s some symmetry because what you experienced at the time you took a break from blogging mirrors the reasons I started my own blog several months ago. My husband and I brought home a 3-day old baby boy from the hospital last May. He was with us for 5 months before being placed with uncles in California. He went from two gay dads to two gay dads, so clearly he was meant for it, just not with us. Losing a child like that is extremely difficult. I felt sick to my stomach for days, and I cried way more than I have in a long time. I’ve never had to grieve like that before, and I’m not sure I’m strong enough to go through it again. I guess what I want to say, after all my rambling, is that I feel for you two, and I hope you find some peace over time.

    • Thanks for the follow! It’s never easy to lose a child, even a foster child. Unfortunately, our loss came with no warning and was accompanied by a lot of other baggage that we are still dealing with. We go back and forth on whether we can face it again. Only time will tell! Thank you for your kind words.

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