Embracing and Loving Biological Parents
I am a big believer in working with biological parents. These kids are removed for various reasons, and as foster parents, we are to love the child wholly, which includes loving their biological parents because they are part of the child’s identity.
It’s not easy, I’ll be honest. Sometimes it’s hard not to pass off judgments based on the circumstances, and it’s hard not to let certain prejudices based on their actions stand in the way.
He calls us to love. Love isn’t always comfortable and easy. Love requires sacrifice and humility, and in it’s truest Christ-like form, love is giving without expectation of return.
Because one day if your child is adopted, they’re going to ask about their biological parents. They’re going to ask you about the details of your interactions with them, and personally, I couldn’t look them in the eye and say, “Yeah, they looked like dirty people who clearly are bad because they got their kids taken away from them. So I just didn’t want to try to show them love.”
Because even after adoption and name changes, my children will always be their children too. Yeah, they don’t have legal rights, and some of them have zero contact with us now. But they will always be apart of my girls’ identity.
I can’t and I won’t erase that. I won’t hide the truth from my girls.
So I built relationships as best as I could given the circumstances of the case. I got a Sideline or Google Voice number to protect my privacy while also opening up a way of communication between us and the biological mom.
I sent in pictures to a biological mom in a jail cell who I knew would never see her children again, but I wanted her to see how much I loved them and how well they were doing. I want to give her something she could hold onto as a source of hope.
I participated in visits and loved on a biological mama in small and big ways to help encourage her and to make her feel loved as well.
I sent in updates with the girls at visits to keep the biological parents informed on milestones.
I took the girls to their biological mom’s job to encourage her for keeping a job.
Love isn’t easy. These situations aren’t natural, but they’re essential.
We can’t just cut off the biological parents because it’s uncomfortable. We have to love just as we have been loved by Jesus.
I’ve seen beautiful things come of these relationships, and I’ve been burned by these relationships. I don’t regret it either way.
Because my girls deserve that respect to love and acknowledge their identity.
While, yes, I’ll admit that the selfish part of me wishes we could just fully move on and erase all the sad parts and the reminders and the before stuff, but I’d be erasing a big part of who they are.
Ava would lose her big heart that was hardened by trauma, and then softened by Jesus. She understands complex emotions and situations so well for an 8 year old.
Sadie would lose her sensitive spirit that feels deeply and empathetically.
Nora would lose her vibrant red hair that fuels her fiery soul.
Mia would lose her spunky attitude that overcompensates for her tiny body.
Lucy would lose her tenacity that helps her keep up with her big sisters.
I love and cherish every part of my daughters. I wouldn’t change them.
So don’t let fear stand in the way of building those relationships no matter how uncomfortable they may seem. These relationships need boundaries though, and I absolutely protected my privacy.
But I couldn’t just ignore that part of who my girls are. God is actively using their story in all its forms to grow them into incredible humans.