BrightSide and I haven’t had a lot of experience with foster care.
When we decided to build our family through adoption, the local foster care system was my first call. We knew there were kids out there who needed homes, who were looking for parents just like us, so it seemed like a logical place to start.
But when I spoke with a woman at DSS she explained their primary goal was reunification with the birth family. I didn’t even have to think about it – I told her I understood and that maybe one day I’d be able to love children and let them go, but BrightSide and I wanted to start a family of our own. Our goals and those of DSS simply weren’t aligned.
That’s the extent of my firsthand interaction with foster care, or it was until we went to that conference hosted by Charlotte’s DSS. Tomorrow’s Forever Family talks about being confronted with reality and what it forced me to learn about myself.
Learning about the foster program in Charlotte was eye opening to say the least. A more accurate description might be shocking. Depressing. Horrifying.
Hundreds of children, lost in the system, waiting for years for a family to come for them. Some of them are lucky enough to eventually be adopted; others finally age out of the system at eighteen, never really belonging to anyone, left to their own devices when it comes to finding their way in the world.
So. Many. Children.