A few days ago I posted 14 photos of my first foster son who was adopted… but not by me. I didn’t expect that retelling the events would get me so down, but it did. So today, I’m reversing the tone and adding more photos that celebrate our time together.
Most of these photos are taken from the time that he and his mom lived together in a residential drug treatment program, sometimes known as Mommy-and-Me rehab. Most moms in the program sent their babies home with family for the weekend. When my first foster son’s mom asked me if I would substitute one weekend, I was delighted.
If one of my daughters “Sandy” is returned to her mom, I still have the dream of being her only foster parent should she ever again re-enter the system. My wish is for everyone involved in the decision making of foster care placements to take the same course that their associated foster parents take. I believe that if the social workers, attorneys, and even judges take the course, everyone would understand the importance of shared parenting, even after foster care, in order to provide sustainable permanency that is community-based.
In other words, all of the counselors, case workers, and attorneys will be gone when the case is over. According to professional standards, contact should cease unless they continue to be providers. Who’s left? Who’s the most committed community resource left for the family? The foster parents. Something the Model Approach to Partnership and Parenting (MAPP) trains us to be and the Annie E. Casey Foundation advocates.
Here he is again, at 6 months old! 1 of 12
The family who adopted him is Dominican, which is great because he's half Dominican and half Jewish.
I decided to try his first feeding in his bathtub. 2 of 12
It was a good idea. You can see my pet tortoise, Henry, decided to join us.
Our too cool for school attempt in the East Village. 3 of 12
Who says you can't give a stranger your camera in New York City to take a picture?
Rosey cheeks! 4 of 12
And the drool, oh the drool never ended.
He always loved a blanket on his head. 5 of 12
Actually, he loved anything on his head.
I have this one framed, it’s my favorite. 6 of 12
If this photo doesn't make you melt, nothing will.
Mimicking skills, check! 7 of 12
Adorable Buddha belly, double check.
About to fall asleep but being a good sport. 8 of 12
Hedgehog pants and fox socks- I still have the socks.
It’s hard to remember a time when he was toothless! 9 of 12
Did I mention he's fluent in Spanish now?
Together with Henry 10 of 12
Henry actually weighed more than him at this time.
Another favorite photo of mine. 11 of 12
He looks so grown up!
Being a big boy with my friend Chrys. 12 of 12
And another friend, Amy, knit his sweater. I love the blue buttons.
Also from Rebecca: