Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First World Problems with Birth Family

Small issues with Danielle's birth family keep coming up, though I do have to admit that these are really first world problems more than anything else.

Still, they are annoying.

When we met with Danielle's birth family, they invited us to attend a milestone event for one of Danielle's cousins.  We weren't sure we wanted to attend for a number of reasons, though Danielle very much wanted to go.

In light of our discovery that one of Danielle's birth family members is offering prescription drugs for sale, and that this person would be at the festivities, we decided not to go.  Danielle was understandably disappointed, but as it turned out, we wouldn't have been able to attend anyway.  FosterEema has a conflicting appointment.

As this situation unfolded, we also observed that another family member voiced her approval of the aforementioned drug dealing.

In a nutshell, it has become clear that these are not people with whom we want to associate.

My current problem is that one of the above relatives has started to send me regular messages via a social media site.  Whenever she is online, it seems she wants to chat.  I'm trying to remain positive and believe that she's simply trying to be friendly, but in all honesty, it makes me very uncomfortable. 

The problem is made worse by the fact that she seems to only send me messages when I'm on the phone with a client or otherwise engaged in work.

I know, first world problems.

These problems put a sharp focus on the underlying flaw of the foster care system, and it reminds me very much of a story we were told about a girl who had been in care for most of her childhood.  She was about to turn 18, and the social workers were trying to put together some sort of plan for her.  In the end, our county bought her a bus ticket and sent her back to her birth family.

This was the birth family who had abused her sufficiently that she wasn't safe living with them.

If a family isn't safe when a child is 15, 16, or 17, how does the family suddenly become safe when the child turns 18?  I'm not sure I see much difference between an older teen and an 18-year-old, other than a difference in their legal status. It makes me ask, if these kids so desperately want to return home, should they have been taken from their families in the first place?

It's an uncomfortable question to ask.

Danielle continues to make it clear that she wants to go live with her birth family after her 18th birthday.  She's already told us that she wants to live with a relative who she claimed abused her.  When we asked Danielle about this plan, her remark was, "Well, I've already forgiven her."

The abuse Danielle described was not insignificant, yet she wants to return to that life.

I find it extremely confusing and sad.


  1. Blood is thicker than water.

  2. My kids (like many adopted kids) have this idealized version of their other life. They completely ignore the reality, because they want the fairy tale so badly they can taste it.

    I think they honestly believe that if they can just run away from everything here, that life will be perfect. We can tell them a thousand times that most of the problems will be coming with them, because they are a part of them, but unlike Pretty Woman, it's easier to believe the good/ fantasy stuff.

    My son moved out when he was 18, stopped taking all his meds, and went to live with random friends until he graduated high school. Then he moved in with his biograndparents. He had issues with every friend he stayed with, and there were a LOT!, but it was always their fault (just like at home it was OURS). I'm not sure he'll ever really get it. He'll just continue thinking everyone else is hard to get along with instead of him.

    I've decided I'm just not going to kick myself over it. Hopefully some of what he learned during the 5 years he lived with us will have suck in, and maybe when he turns 25 or so he'll mature and actually have a decent life... but I'm not holding my breath.


    PS. I have actually started blogging again. Thanks for being so supportive of me over the years!


I love to get comments from my readers. Please be aware that comment moderation is on and there may be a delay between the time you post your remarks and the time they appear on the blog.

If you would like your comment read and/or published, sign your name to it and play nice.