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The Joys and Sorrows of Foster Adoption – part 2

3 week old nap In Part-1 of our foster/adoption story we left off at our first joy and sorrow. Our little boy had arrived. What a blessing! Let the sleepless nights and busy days begin. Little did we know when he arrived, he had some drugs in his little system. This made it very hard for him to be comforted when he began crying, which was often. And, when he cried, it was intense and he would shake, hard. At this time we just figured he had a strong little will, even at this tender age. We held him tight and rocked him for hours. He would calm down and sleep in our arms. What a privilege, really. While we were exhausted, we were so thankful to be foster Dad and Mom to our sweet little Joseph. Our children were thrilled to be foster brother and sissy.

A week into his arrival, the visits with his birth mom began. Two times a week I would head out to our agency and visit with little Joseph’s birth mom so she could be with him. During these first weeks his birth mom was trying very hard to be able to care for her sweet baby. We were careful to call him our Foster baby. This distinction was really important for the protection of our hearts and for the honor of his birth mom. It was easy at first, but as we became more attached it became more difficult and unnatural. It is at this point that I began to have an internal struggle to have the right perspective. I knew that little Joseph’s birth mom could change. I wanted her to change. I especially knew that if she would repent and turn to Jesus Christ for her salvation her life would never be the same. She then could be adopted by Him and begin a new life. Then she could really be “mom” to little Joseph. We had such hopes that she would stay off drugs. But the day came when her bad choices stole her opportunity to provide a loving home to her sweet boy. Again, such sorrow on our part.

We were closer than ever to officially being his Mommy and Daddy and yet, we grieved. Our Foster Son, whom we loved, was losing his birth mom to her choices. She was losing an opportunity to raise this sweet boy, whom we loved so much. When she missed her first visit, I really thought I would be even a little happy, since again, we would be closer to being little Joseph’s family. But, instead, I cried the whole way home from the visit. My heart was broken for him and for her. How could this be? How could she miss seeing her sweet baby? When she was there, you could tell how much she loved him. Thankfully I have photos for him when he is older so he can see the love coming from his birth mom. Maybe that will ease any hurt he may have as he comes to terms with all that happened in his young life.

December 2011 was the last time little Joseph’s birth mom saw her little baby. He was just two months old. I know she must ache for him. I ache for her. What must a mom go through when this happens. I have been told that a birth mom often will stop visiting once she knows her baby is well cared for. When she sees them living a life that is better than the one she can provide, out of love she “let’s it happen”.

JJumping_04 The ensuing days, weeks, months and year (19 months in total) were filled with the ups and downs of the legal process. Many days it was easy to forget all that was happening behind the scenes. Some other days were hard as we waited. We were given the wonderful counsel to enjoy each day and try to stay detached from the legal system and that helped so much. We also regularly reminded ourselves, that it should not be easy to adopt someone else’s child. If it were us, we would want to be treated with respect and given the time we needed to conquer our choices. This helped us to be patient. Again there were joys and sorrows. There was the joy of knowing that we were moving toward being able to raise sweet little Joseph and call him our own, and the sorrow of knowing what his birth mom must be going through. I am so thankful for the love she showed him when she visited. We really honor her for giving him life. She chose life for her son. Praise the Lord that she chose life for him.

I will write more in a part three in the coming days. Please comment and ask any questions you may have or share your stories.

And, remember, if you are interested in learning more about Foster/Adoption, please call Maria Otero at (800) 730-3933 at Children’s Bureau. They are a wonderful resource and can answer your questions and get you going in the process if you are interested. Please tell them Robin and Diane sent you!

10 Responses

  1. Natalie says:

    Breaks my heart…thanks so much for your perspective.

    • Diane Marie Haller says:

      You are very welcome Natalie. Thank you for taking the time to respond. It is indeed heart breaking. I am so glad to be able to bring hope to the situation with Foster/Adoption. Blessings to you!

  2. Jenn Hughes says:

    Diane, I am really enjoying reading your fost/adopt journey!! Such great perspective– joys AND sorrows. Bill and I have always had a desire to adopt– hopefully in a few years when our kids are a little older!

    Thank you for your tender heart expressed through words!

    • Diane Marie Haller says:

      Thank you Jenn. I am always thrilled when I hear of someone wanting to adopt…especially someone like you! Thank you for reading and I am so glad you are encouraged. Blessings to you!

  3. Looking forward to part three!!

  4. DesignedByBH says:

    I’m sitting here crying and trying not to just outright boo-hoo because your story touches a nerve! I apologize in advance for how long this is!!!
    I have four brothers…two are older and I grew up with them. My other two brothers are really young enough to be my own and are both adopted. I was living at home when my parents adopted my youngest brother–I was a legal adult so I had to go through the home studies, the background checks, the interviews…and they brought him home from an orphanage in Russia at the age of 20 months. I think back to the first time I saw his little face–he had all but given up the will to live. (It was only a matter of time–and it happened in the orphanages there a lot. Those children were moved to a different room and all but left…) At 20 months old, my little brother had spent all of his time sitting naked in a crib with no toys and the equivalent of 1 small jar of baby food a day. He couldn’t crawl, he wouldn’t cry, and it took extreme measures to even make him smile! He also has fetal alcohol syndrome. But he’s very much my little brother! He’s now 15, and a goofy little guy with no real academic future and some social issues–but he’s so cool. He’s very creative…he’s hard to describe! He’s my brother!
    My other little brother is also 15 and I honestly don’t know him as well because we haven’t actually lived in the same home…he grew up in a “normal” home in the Ukraine with two parents and a sister–until his mom got sick, his dad didn’t want to deal with it and left, and his mom sadly passed away when he was 9 years old. He lived with his grandmother and uncle for a little while, but they didn’t want him so they chained him to a tree in the woods by his neck–until he escaped one day and found his neighbor. He was then put into an orphanage, away from his older sister (who is now 18)–those “Operation Christmas Child” shoe boxes were the only possessions he received each year. Until he was about 13. A family here in the US decided they wanted to do something altruistic so they adopted “a troubled orphan.” But he didn’t get along with their kids (because he was older and had been traumatized–can you blame him?) so my parents gave them respite. And they decided they wanted him to become a part of our family and things were great for a few months–until it came time to sign paperwork. The altruistic family couldn’t handle the thought of their project failing and demanded that he come back to their home. At this point my parents had been living in a different state than me for several years, so I hadn’t yet met him–but in my mind, the minute my parents took him in the first time, he was my brother. Maybe it’s because I already had an adopted brother and knew how the dynamics work? Regardless, I was distraught. I cried, I got angry–I posted on Facebook in the most generic way possible and was ready to drive to the state they were living in to give that family a piece of my mind and explain that he was a child, not a puppy…so my boss threatened to fire me if I left the state (it was a good thing!). But after a lot of prayer and sleepless nights, the other family came to realize that he needed to be with our family. And he has been ever since! It has been hard–he and I bumped heads when we first met because he was a troubled now teen and I was (and am) old enough to be his mother, but am technically his sister–but we bonded when someone was giving him a hard time and big sister came to the rescue. 🙂 The best part, his older sister was adopted by a family only A FEW MILES away from my family–if you didn’t believe in God before, how can you not after that? Of all the places in the world she could have gone…(and she was adopted just in time–because you get thrown out of the system at 16 in the Ukraine).
    NOW THAT I HAVE HIJACKED YOUR BLOG! I am so sorry! It’s just that not everyone is able to understand…why would you want troubled kids from an unknown background? How can you love them when they look different from you, or they aren’t your “blood”? How do you deal with the questions they’ll have? Well, you just do. And it will be just perfect in its own way. And even if that child isn’t biologically yours, they’re still yours, and they’re still a miracle.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us on the Daily Blog Boost!!!! (And please feel free to not keep this comment up if you aren’t comfortable with it–I promise that I won’t think twice about it!)
    ~ Brooke ~

    • Diane Marie Haller says:

      Brooke, it is the middle of the night and I just fed my littlest and now I am the one who is crying. I hope I don’t wake up my husband, but I had to respond! Thank you so much for sharing your BEAUTIFUL story! God is SO good!!! I am SO thankful your parents and your family rescued your brothers and loved them! And, you are right, you just do it and it is perfect in its own way. I love your story and am so grateful you posted it here! Thankfully, this blog isn’t just for me and my story…it is a blessing to share it and let it be about so much more! So, thank you! I just remembered the part about your youngest bother’s sister…amazing. You are so right that you must believe in God when you read that and especially when you live it! Thank you so much for sharing your life! I am so grateful! I am going to share your comment with my family in the morning when they wake up. Blessings to you!

  5. Thank you for writing this. I’m in the middle of a battle with infertility so we’re thinking about pursuing fostering/adoption. I have been searching for information on the emotional aspects of fostering and yours is one of the first honest and authentic sources I’ve come across. I look forward to reading more about your journey.

    • Diane Marie Haller says:

      Lisa, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I appreciate your transparency about your fertility battle…so very hard! Even with all of the ups and downs, we are still moving forward to bring another child into our family. It is so rewarding knowing that you are loving children who don’t have a home…they give you so much joy. Please email me with any questions you may have. I am glad to help you through the process. MyLifeAsRobinsWife@gmail dot com. Blessings!


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