Not sure why I'm posting this...(34 Posts)
My parents and little brother died when I was 14. I was pretty much unadoptable and was placed in long term foster care until I was 18. My Foster Parents were the greatest people I have ever known. They also fostered a little boy while I was there. They got him at just under 3, he stayed with us until he was nearly 6 and was being introduced to his adoptive parents, who were also amazingly wonderful people (maybe slightly biased as every visit they brought me chocolate!). Foster brother loved them, was really excited about going to live with his "Forever Family" and I believe had already started to love them.
I was very protective of the little bubba. He reminded me so much of my own little brother that I loved beyond all words and no longer had. We adopted each other as siblings long before any prospective parents came along.
I don't know exactly what happened next, but for some reason the Birth Mother changed her mind and was allowed to have him returned to her. I was there as they came to collect him and it is, to this day, the most harrowing memory of my life.
He was screaming, clinging to Foster Mum and screaming for Adoptive Mum (who wasn't there). I was sobbing as was Foster Parents. Birth Mum was rolling her eyes and SW stood there like a statue, about as helpful as a chocolate radiator.
Then he started screaming at me "Don't let them take me Laly, Laly you promised I was going to Forever Family"
So, I did the only reasonable thing a 17 year old can do in that situation. I grabbed him and ran. We bolted out the back door and just kept running. Eventually, we went to my best friends house and his mum took us in, calmed us down and told Foster Parents we were there.
They came to collect us and Foster brother kicked off again,screaming that he wasn't going, he was going to Forever Family and I was already planning another escape bolt if needed. Foster Mum told him he wasn't going anywhere; after we had run away, Birth Mother had thrown a hissy fit and decided she didn't want him him after all if he was going to be so difficult (like expecting him to go to a woman he has no memory of rather than the parents he had spent weeks meeting and getting to know is unreasonable).
We went home, Foster Brother spent night in my bed, terrified someone would take him in the night when I wasn't with him.
Adopted Parents were contacted and asked if they were still interested in adopting him, which they were. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for them. To be told they have a child, they that they don't, but oh by the way, do you still want him?
They left it a couple of weeks to settle brother down and then Adoptive Parents were allowed to come for another set of intro visits. Except that as soon as Foster Brother saw them he launched himself at them and would not let them go. He ended up leaving that night with them.
I visited him every month. Still do. (Though these are getting less frequent due to him being a moody 16 year old and an adopted 25 year old sister is not quite as cool as girls his own age!). His parents are bloody fantastic, made me feel a part of their family as well, which must have been hard as they signed up for a 6 year old, not an emotionally wrecked 17 year old.
They wrote to me when I had my little girl. They said that now I was a mum myself they hoped I would understand just how much they appreciated the fact I ran away with their son when I did. They said if it wasn't for me he would have gone to his birth mother and they wouldn't have had their very much loved son.
They said that the BM gave birth, the FC gave care, love and nurture, but I gave them their family.
It made me cry and made me sound so much more important than I ever was. Every year I get birthday and Christmas cards. I get a copy of his school report and his school pictures. I was invited to every birthday party and was always introduced as his sister. My Daughter calls him Uncle. (Well, she says 'Unck! Which we are taking as Uncle!).
I guess, what I'm trying to say, is thank you. Thank you to all you Foster Carers who are fucking amazing. You take in damaged kids and you do your best to make them better. You give them stability and love in such an unstable and frightening time in their lives. You do all of that and then stand back and let them be happy in another family. That's hard. It's amazing.
Thank you to Adoptive Parents who go through so much and have a family at your fingertips only to lose it, but you somehow keep it together. you go through all of it, knowing that at any time it coud be taken away, but you do it anyway. Thank you for seeing that kids in care are not statistics or victims, but little human beings who just want their Forever Family.
Thank you for making me feel important. At least to him.
This is so beautiful. Thank you for posting this. Really welling up.
LalyRawr thank you for posting this, it's beautiful. You did a great thing.
What an amazing thing you did - regardless of whether or not you knew what would happen as a result!
What an amazing story too - and with a (n unusually) happy ending!
Don't know what else to say, it's made me all emotional, but thanks for posting!
Thank you, I didn't mean for this to be about what I did, frankly I'm not sure why I posted.
It's just that I met up with him over the weekend and made him promise me something (contraception while having sex with GF, very awkward, would be mortified I was telling the Internet world!) and he said that he would keep his pro,use as I kept mine. I asked him what promise and he said that I promised I would stay with him until he found his Forever Family.
He was 4 when I first made that promise. He was 5 when he met his parents for the first time and I made the promise again- that I would stay with him and make sure he got his Forever Family.
It just shocked me that he remembered that. Then I wondered what other this he remembered and I realised just how bloody difficult it is to be a Foster Carer or a Forever Family. These kids absorb everything and at some point it has to be spat back out and I can't imagine how hard that is. He remembers running away with me. That was three hours out of his life. How much does he remember from the three years he was with his birth mother? How much has that effected him?
It just broke my heart that he held on to that promise for so long.
Sorry for ridiculous typos and spellings. IPads and fat man fingers do not mix well!
"frankly I'm not sure why I posted."
I guess you posted because you wanted to talk about it and lets be honest its not generally the easiest thing to blurt out to someone in real life particularly if they have no experience of fostering or adoption.
I believe that birth parents should get a great deal more help to adequately parent before the point is reached that the child is suffering enough to be removed. I also think it would probably be better if birth parents having had the child removed had to go through a similar approvals process as adopters to get the child home again (that may not be a popular view!). I have seen two children in particular where it is believed that the damage they have suffered is more to do with the yo-yo'ing backward and forward between foster care and birth parents than the (not inconsiderable) abuse they suffered.
What you unwittingly provided was a real test for both sets of parents of how much they wanted that boy which in the end worked out well for him.
I'm not sure it would work out as standard practice though! I do think its lovely that you are still social siblings. Don't be too sad for what he can remember or how his life was then - you need to focus on what he feels and how he is now.
That is lovely Laly - what an amazing story.
So moving, thank you for sharing that Laly - although you have ruined my eye-makeup!
Laly how are you doing? Did you feel having your little brother and a sense of purpose there helped you through what must have been a very tough time for you? I really hope so.
Oh, Laly, thank you so much for sharing that with us.
You have made me sob, but in a good way!
My brother had Fragile X Syndrome, so I was always very protective of him growing up, because he was 'different'. I think I just transferred this protectiveness onto Foster Brother and it helped in the sense that it was a familiar role if that makes sense?
But really, he helped me put it into perspective. While losing my parents and brother was bloody difficult and hard and just all consuming, I knew they had loved me. I knew that if they were alive I would be with them and was totally secure in their love and want of me.
Foster Brother had no such security. Whereas I had the knowledge that where ever they were they were looking out for me, he had nothing. Or rather he had the knowledge that both his birth parents were alive and yet they didn't want him. So it became important to me for him to have some sense of, I don't know, belonging I guess. That he knew he fit in somehow. That he knew someone had his back. Even if it was only me.
Obviously our Foster Carers (and subsequently his parents) were also doing this and to a much better standard then I was, but selfishly, it helped me to help him. It was a comfortable and familiar role of being a big, protective sister.
Sorry Italian, I know this doesn't make much sense, I'm not very eloquent or articulate and I ramble too much.
And sorry for the tears! Especially eye make up ruining tears!
Its been on my mind a lot since the weekend and I think Kew is right in the sense that I just needed somewhere to talk it all out.
There really is no need to apologise, Laly
These boards are for anybody who has been touched by, or has an interest in adoption.
Your story has really moved me, and I really appreciate you sharing it.
If you don't mind my asking, did you stay with your foster carers?
I stayed with them until I was 18, then went to university, got my own place afterwards, though they told me several times I could move back in if I wanted to. I used to visit them all the time, but they retired and moved to Germany, so I don't get to see them as often, but we do still stay in contact.
If at any point I had a choice about who my Foster Parents were, I would have chosen them every time.
Wow. You really made me cry. Thank you for sharing your story. You sound like an incredible young woman. I'm sure your parents must have been amazing people. My very real sympathy to you on the devastating losses you have had in your life. And thank you. Thank you for having the courage to stand up for your foster brother when no-one else was able to. You are pretty damn amazing.
Fortunately I'm not wearing any eye make-up. Am, however, on the train dabbing surreptitiously at my eyes. You clearly are an extraordinary person, and your daughter is a lucky girl to have a mum like you!
Thanks Laly, makes perfect sense.
CrikeyLalyRawr! You really are a credit to this person and yourself. What a brave little girl you were and can see how much you value family. What a lucky child you have.
Wow...amazing story. Thanks for posting.Yout give credit to foster and adoptive parents. I give credit to you. I read this yesterday and been thinking about it since. I'm at early stages of thinking about adoption/ivf and so many worries about what ages would the kids be, what if the kids don't bond with me, a lot more what ifs! You've given me insight into the adopted kids side of things. You're a credit to your brother and certainly sounds like he knows he's a lucky boy to have his sister and parents. It's amazing you've kept that bond over the years.
Thank you so much for sharing, you are an amazing woman x
Laly you are amazing. Im sat here crying and wishing I could do the same as you as we have a lo going through a similar experience to you fb. How I would love to be able to pick lo up and just run and run run to prevent the suffering I fear theyll now have to go through again due to bloody solicitors who dont care how their day in court championing parental rights can sometimes be so wrong for the children.
Wow ... what an incredible story. I'm always lurking on here as we're just thinking about adopting, but have never posted before. Your story has edged me a step closer to going for it, thankyou :-)
I am dipping in and out of MN while I write a letter to my FCs local authority explaining why we want to be their forever family, the beginning of the permanence process. This thread has just made me really blub!
You are inspirational. Thank you
that really is an amazing story.
you made me cry too
and your visits will become more frequent again as he gets older.
he's got his forever family and you're his forever sister
(and i'm glad you ran away with him when you did)
My heart was in my mouth reading your story. Amazing. You must be his hero.
I think all 16 year old brothers are a bit on the moody side. It's the law.
Made me cry, what a touching story xx
Thank you for posting this lovely story. I am a FC and going through the adoptive process right now. My foster baby has found his forever family.
I had said that I was going to stop fostering, (just struggling to cope with social services decisions) but your post has made me realise that I need to carry on.
We had a very "damaged" little child when he first arrived, but he is now a confident and happy little toddler - who adores chuckling and cuddles. His forever mummy has fallen head over heels in love with him. I know he will have a good life.
You did an amazing thing. You are an amazing person!!!! You absolutely changed that little boys life. Well done you
I'm glad you now have your very own forever family you deserve it.
such a lovely, moving story, thank you so much for posting it.
I'm late to this, but just wanted to say thank you for posting. Your story is so moving, and you sound like an amazing person.
Well done to all the foster carers who do brilliant work.
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