Fatherhood Sobriety Check

There’s been a lot going on since my last adoption/foster care update. I thought I got a taste of what it’s like to be a father, but in reality, I was kidding myself. The children we were hoping to come live with us ended up going back to their biological mother. It was a total flip from what anyone thought would happen, but hey, that’s the legal system for you. We’re just hoping that bio-mom cleaned up and placed enough stability for herself that she can care for her children.

What did we learn? A lot, actually. We were given a chance to see what we could do with children who came from a traumatic background. We were able to show them love and how a stable, functioning family works. We were able to give them a glimpse of what being spoiled meant and how to start making good decisions for themselves. We had a blast, yet there definitely that heart-break. All-in-all, we’re stronger and we know that we want to be parents. The worst part about this particular case is that we weren’t allowed a last visit. So, we wrote a letter and sent it to them, hoping that they can understand and that we didn’t want to drop out of their lives so suddenly, but that we had to follow what the court said.

We immediately told the adoption agency that we wanted to continue the search. So, the week before Thanksgiving, the foster care department called asking if we’d consider a brother and sister, toddler age. Strictly foster care for now, but they wanted the children in a more permanent setting. We agreed and have had children now for two weeks! How is it going you ask? Fairly well. These kids listen well for being toddlers. They’re a joy to have around for the most part and we’ve had to really lay down some structure for them from the start. In many ways, it’s been quite overwhelming. Other ways, it almost seems natural. They’ve called us mommy and daddy from day one, with my son asking “Daddy….Can I call you Daddy?” before bed a few times. They love to talk, ask questions, and learn new things. Very intelligent children who are right on track developmentally. I think for my lovely wife and I, it’s been a lot of adjustment all of a sudden and learning just how much we have to work with them about some behaviors.

We had a very stressful week of Thanksgiving. Our oldest cat, Spooky, became deathly sick. He’s been with us since two weeks after we got married, so he’s definitely a part of our family and he’s one of our kids. So, we had only had the children for three days and now a cat deathly sick from kidney stones. Because the cat couldn’t urinate, his toxicity level was through the roof and he almost died. We had to secure daycare for the children and my lovely wife was trying to work from home all at the same time. Of course, I was at work, trying to help in any way I could. Just a really long three days before the holiday weekend.

Thanksgiving went well. The children enjoyed playing with some of our cousins who are all the same age range. They enjoyed meeting family, eating, playing, and just being children. It was overall decent after we knew our cat was going to be alright. So, we’ve now completed a full week of daycare and the children are starting to calm down. They are learning their boundaries, which I’m sure they’ll always test to some degree.

I think just about every parent gets drunk with the fairytale notions of what it’s like to be a parent. I knew it was going to be a lot of work and challenging, but I don’t think I was ready for some things, and all I can do is work with them, love them, and give them structure and reassurance that they’re safe, loved, and they’re special. I’m proud of them. This is a big transition for us all and I think we’re right on track. The trust is building and all I have to remember is to be patient.


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