Months ago, our youngest foster son’s case worker fought to have him removed from our home to a more structured environment, a residential facility. This seasoned social worker saw us struggling and was erring on the side of caution.
We erred on the side of hope.
We fought to keep him in our home. We took 18 hours of classes to elevate our license. We all but begged (actually we did beg) the team to allow Little D to stay in our home.
Amidst the heated (but respectful) discussion, his counselor came to our aid. Armed with statistics, she quantified how kids from trauma do best when they are connected to a loving adult. Like Little D was with us.
We walked out weak in the knees, but with a team willing for us to continue caring for our precious boy.
During our next session, this kind counselor named that we may not yet be to our limit, but we need to know what that is. Where our line is.
At the time I nodded in perfect agreement as if to say, “Of course. I’ll get right on that.”
But months later, I still have no idea. Where it is. Or frankly, how to go about finding it.
The only way I’ve ever known my line was by being so far past it that I was despondent.
I don’t want to do that again. I can’t do that again.
And yet so much of this is so foreign to me that it’s nearly impossible to predict how I will feel or respond. Trauma and anger and violence and hospitals and court hearings.
I grew up in a sweet household with one older sister who was rarely anything but kind to me. My biggest grievance being that she sometimes wanted to read rather than play with me.
Foster care isn’t just different. It’s incomparable to anything I’ve ever known.
How can I know my limit when I don’t know any of this?