Friday, February 13, 2009


Are you ever in the mood to just let it all rip?
Run your mouth off about anyone and everyone, caring not what carnage you leave in your path?
Today's victim: CPS
Remember, I warned you.
Five calls in five days about five different, needy, special children. No placements.

Baby #1--2-month-old girl being released from the hospital for injuries incident to abuse. NO

Baby #2--5-month-old boy and his sibling group of FIVE taken into care because of neglect. NO

Baby #3--5-month-old boy and his sibling group taken into care at 2:45 am Wednesday night/Thursday morning for neglect. NO

Baby #4--Little girl, found abandoned in a rental car last night at 10 pm, no id, no nothing, not even a name. Suspected age: 2-3 years old. NO

Baby #5--This call just in. 2-month-old girl taken into care for abuse. Mom was taking meth while breastfeeding. Called an hour ago, but I'm sure the verdict is going to be NO.

Do you have any idea how many hours of training it takes to become a foster parent?
30 hours of agonizing in a room with social workers ten to fifteen years younger than you are who have never been parents, teaching about parenting. Not to mention the six required hours of continuing education training every year. Last I checked, I knew how to deal with a poopy diaper and crying. And how to make kids do chores occasionally. And how to talk to a teenager.

Do you have any idea how many hoops it involves jumping through to become a foster parent?
Fingerprinting, background checks, personal references, recommendations from each child's teacher, interviews with each of your children, safety inspections of your home and your cars, proof of insurance, and quarterly visits.

Do you have any idea how much it costs to become a foster parent?
Depending on the level of certification you acquire, anywhere up to $800, excluding fees and incidental expenses accrued during the certification process.

I've done it all. I've paid the cash, I've served my time in training, I've jumped and rejumped through the governmental hoops. I've taken calls anywhere from early morning to the middle of the night.

The system is so broken, and parenting levels in this country are so poor. No training exists for these idiot parents. No hoops. No certificate presented to announce your qualifications to parent.

It seems to be all about the adults--the birth parents' rights, CPS's stupid politics and placement decisions.

Answer me this:
Why can I not be the one to help these kids?
I assuage my anger by telling myself that these kiddos are in other approved foster homes. Even if they aren't here.
But every time I hear another story, another case, another tragedy, I want to help. I want to take them home and show them what a loving, caring, safe family is like. I want to be the one to help them.
And I want to keep them. Forever.

Oh, there's the phone.

Nope. Not them.
Epiphany #37--Birth doesn't make you a parent. Training doesn't make you a parent. Daily baths and timeouts and bandaids and homework and stories and songs and chores and soothing and holding and nurturing and caring and loving make you a parent.


  1. Jen, that breaks my heart.

  2. Amen on what it takes to be a parent. I could not foster. My heart would be broken all the time. You are awesome for trying to play the game.

  3. I hear you Jen... I got about 1/2 though the process and just couldn't jump the hoops fast enough for them. I feel like you do and think I could provide at least a loving home...if only temporarily... alas, I just couldn't jump high enough or fast enough. I admire that you have gotten where you are. They complain that there are so many kids who need placement, yet they make it nearly impossible for those willing and able to help. Go figure. Keep fighting the good fight.'s not between you and them (CPS).

  4. Your family is amazing and I can't think of a better more loving place for all of those children to go. CPS doesn't know how lucky they are to have you to call on. :)

  5. Wow, I've considered fostering, I had no idea what is required. I've never dealt with CPS on that level. I'm a teacher, so I've dealt with them (too) many times on that level, and never to my satisfaction either. All of that training to be a parent to children whose parents have failed at parenting...Imagine if EVERYONE were required. Good luck! You have a beautiful family, by the way!

  6. You are an amazing woman. I am sorry you have to endure such frustrations. I just don't even know what to say, I'm so sorry.