It is true that life as a foster parent can be hard, but the life of the biological parent is excruciatingly hard. Here is a biological mom’s story and the beauty of the impact of The Forgotten Initiative’s work in her life.
When I was asked to do this blog from the perspective of a biological parent who had her children taken into foster care, I jumped at the chance. Here is my story.
In 2012 four of my children were taken from me and placed into foster care, separated into three different homes.
This is my side of the situation. There will be no fingers pointed because the fault of the situation rested in the hands of two parents who could not get along, we were domestic violence. This resulted in the arrest of both of us. As they placed us into custody many thoughts came to mind, I sat there and wondered, “Where is this going, what will happen?” “Will I see my children again?” But the most interesting thought was the thankfulness I actually felt because they were in safe hands. They would no longer see a life of argument, physical, mental, emotional, or property abuse. They would no longer see the life of drugs, alcohol, and anger. Thank God. Neither would I. Our lives were about to change.
I spent 3 months in jail in another county, I wrote letters and received pictures. My youngest was four months old. Just becoming aware, just starting to function outside of sleep and crying. My heart was now torn between the thankfulness and the remorse of not being able to be there. To hold him, to see every new stage of his life.
My oldest had turned 11 only two months before the incident. Turns out, she was talented enough to take a solo on the clarinet for the Christmas show. Several emotions were overwhelming me. Joy that she was able to do this and fear that I wasn’t there to watch. How would she react? What was she feeling? I felt anger toward myself for several reasons I believe are obvious. Love though, was deep, there was always love.
It would be a total of 5 months before I finally got the chance to see my children for the first time. As I rode the bus to see them, I wanted to cry. This is happening I thought. My babies. I’m going to see my children. The overwhelming nervousness and excitement was indescribable.
This is really where it began, my introduction and relationship between three foster families and two different foster care agencies.
My experience with The Forgotten Initiative still brings joy to my heart. The foster parents of my youngest have left an impression on who I am today, that will last a lifetime. She is a member of the church, she brought me into their lives, into my son’s life…she was there for me, is still here for me. She drives me places when I need a ride, invited me into her home, and into a life I was praying for. Not only did she take on my son, she took me on too. I can confide in her. To this day we are not only in contact, but I can say with assurance she is one of my closest friends. She still watches my child and they have a bond I never intend to break. My son has two mothers and I don’t think either of us intends for that to change.
However, my experience with another family and another agency is different. She would bring them to our visits and say things to my son, like, “you won’t be able to visit your mom if you don’t behave.” Creating an awkwardness I can only describe as unacceptable. While I was working so hard, so, so hard, on getting my children back, she also made the suggestion to my daughter to write the judge and tell them she didn’t want to leave their home. Manipulated — my daughter did as she was told. My thoughts on this are inappropriate to write and will be left to your imagination.
The third foster parent was also a part of The Forgotten Initiative. We did not become as close as the other foster family, however she also never made me feel like she was against me.
After a long haul of proving myself, and the effort and help of my youngest son’s foster family, I shall give thanks to them forever, I finally received custody of my children in May of 2014.
The Forgotten Initiative, has been good to me. Their help and effort they gave to recognize the need to help this biological parent in every way, including helping with clothes and furnishing our first home as a family again, it’s unforgettable.
My name is Kristina Snow, and I have a new life. I thank you…from the bottom of my heart.