The Written Word and Our Blog
In the past couple of weeks I learned the hard way that you can not easily write for both foster parents and birth parents. I never intended to write for both audiences. When Rent-a-Dad and I made the final decision to blog it was after months, even years, of consideration. The process included conversations with mentors, other foster parents, our case-worker, other DCS employees (there were and are still privacy rules), friends, family, and at least one of the birth families we worked with.
Balancing Life’s Lemons was created to tell our journey. We face infertility, and are foster parents; we are parents to some and children to others; we struggle with caring for ailing parents and sacrifice; we don’t always know when we need to replenish yet we know it is needed; we have hobbies that we don’t always get to indulge in; we have a journey that is all ours. The blog is to document that journey to inspire others but also to reach out beyond to those who wish to know us deeper (our loved ones) and share family moments that may otherwise get lost to the annals of time. The story is from our point of view.
Whenever the conversation of writing a post about fostering comes up, the intention is always to share something about our own journey through foster care. While we hope our posts are inspirational they are also meant to help other foster parents, and those interested in fostering, to better understanding the fostering process through our experiences and interpretation. Even with a system that gets classified as “broken” or as “stealing children”, there is still a need for foster parents, ones that believe in the process of reunification, and want to stay involved in the lives of their former fosters as long as their families need/want that connection.
Even though I believe in reunification and want to break down this wall in-between birth and foster families, I do not believe our blog can be easily read by birth families, especially not while they are going through the reunification process. When I write about breaking down the barriers it is in terms of reaching out to those who only paint birth families in negative hues and getting them to see birth families not as an enemy to fight but as someone going through a difficult time who needs your help.
Our blog is about our journey; our opinions; our struggles.
So far I have not been a birth mother who lost her child to the system. I am someone who has helped friends facing CPS workers, and the system, better understand what they need to do not to loose their children. At one point I was that child who had been threatened that CPS could be called at any point and I could be taken away from my parents. Those are pieces of my journey that I yet to write about. They are pieces of my journey that I struggle with.
Our Facebook Page
On our Facebook page I do share posts from other blogs as I think they may fit a train of thought I have recently been exploring, a new idea or outlook on something, even a point I feel others in similar circumstance should be aware of. In the future that may include sharing additional view points from birth parents to help others become more aware of their struggles with the same system. That said, this blog is still our journey.
Our Future with the Written Word
Even before recent events I have been trying to think about how to dig more deeply into our journey. Currently I am facing my mother’s health crisis, helping with our nephews’ education, facing job re-entry, and personal health struggles that seem so trivial in comparison to everything else.
Right now I do not have a clear path as to where my writing will take me. My journey with the written word is a bit hazy at the moment.
What I do know is how I try to be positive and encouraging with the posts I share. Perhaps I sugar coat things a bit much. How can I change that? For about a month, I have been working on a series of posts to un-sugar coat a few things. Let’s see if I can do that without letting the pendulum swing too far in the other direction.
At one point a couple of weeks back, I was cautioned that I need to be careful with my words as they are hurtful to birth parents. No one can please everyone all of the time. I am not writing to please others all of the time. While I try to remain compassionate and respectful to all, I am many things, including a foster parent, who documenting her journey for herself/her family, for those interested in our journey, for others dealing with similar issues and feelings.