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Feeling a Little Frustrated


I’m looking for a little insight, no judgement please.

Currently we have two foster babies. One 9 month old who is a legal risk placement and a 5 month old who is a traditional foster placement. He is a sweetheart and such a good baby but I’m getting a little overwhelmed with dealing with his mom. She has two one hour supervised visits a week and every time he comes home she sends something with him. Early on she was sending two or three boxes of rice cereal, an entire shopping bag of baby food (which he wasn’t eating and is still not eating yet). Other times she sends clothes (majority of which are several sizes too large), toys, pacifiers and she sends diapers which are one size too big. I never know what he will be coming back with.

This is her first baby and from what our caseworker has told me, she over did everything. However, she can’t provide a safe home for him. We try to be as accommodating as possible but I’m kind of at the end of my rope. She tries to breastfeed at visits and requested we use a certain type of bottle. We tried it and it caused him to have terrible gas/consistent spitting up. We tried another style and he had no problem with that. We forwarded the info to mom but she still insisted on using the other bottles. She makes the doctor appointments for him, she questions if we are washing him properly and like I said before is constantly sending things.

I think it’s definitely a good thing she wants to be involved with him and his care. In the grand scheme of things sending a cute onesie or a fun toy is nice for him. I am trying to understand where she is coming from but I feel so frustrated when she keeps sending things that frankly are just not practical. Also, we have the funds we need to buy diapers and things like that. I’ve talked to our caseworker and she tried to have a talk with mom about it but she keeps sending diapers and large clothes. We have a small house and the babies share a room so I’m running out of space to store these things. Am I wrong to feel a little annoyed about it? I’m trying to respect the fact that she is his mother and they’re working with her at visits. However, I just wish I felt that she respected our wishes as well. We’re all supposed to be working to together for him. I don’t know, the situation is so hard sometimes.

Replies

I know you are going to hate this answer and I would too but just suck it up and box the stuff up.  Put it in the garage and give it back to her when he goes home.  As he grows you can pull some of the stuff out and use it instead of buying stuff.  She really is trying but she isn’t involved in the reality of day to day so she just doesn’t know what his needs are.

Use whatever bottles work for you and the baby.  Just send the ones she likes along on visits.  You feed the baby all the time and know what he needs.  I can’t even imagine trying to breastfeed when you are only with a baby 2 hours a week.

Do you attend his doctor’s appointments also?  I couldn’t imagine someone else scheduling an appointment and expecting me to attend.  CYS did that once and I changed the appointment.  I had already made the appointment for the same time but at a better time. 

Are you involved in helping her learn to care for her baby?

Posted by C3 on Jul 30, 2015 at 7:17pm

From personal experience when my baby was in the NICU for 1 month and away from me I had separation anxiety and the only thing I could do was pump milk and bring it. It made me feel like I was doing something. It made me feel like I have a tiny bit of control or could help in some tiny way. It really hurt and I cried every time I left the hospital. Bringing something helped me.

I would imagine it makes this bio mom feel good when she brings something… the bio families like to bring food and other things because it helps them with the loss, grief, guilt… if you can allow it it will help them even though it is hard on you. I would use what you can and box up the rest for when the baby returns.

I fostered 2 little boys and their mom always brought food, candy and or gifts… it was a pain for me, but later she told me it was because growing up she always felt hungry and she constantly worried if they were eating…

If you can’t handle it just tell her…if you need to you could ask the case worker to talk to her.

Best of luck.

Posted by Private And Foster Mom on Jul 30, 2015 at 8:29pm

We have an appointment next week that she scheduled and I am expected to go. I want to go because he’s with me full time but I wondered why she was setting that up and not me. I am not involved with her, she has a visit coach and a visiting nurse who accompany her to visits.

And Private and Foster Mom I have spoken with our caseworker several times and she’s talked to mom as well and to no avail. I really am trying to find a balance between our feelings and hers.

I know we walk a fine line. I guess sometimes it’s hard to always take the high road and just deal with it. It’s judt overwhelming. Between both kids we have four visits a week. It’s a lot to handle sometimes.

Posted by MsPennyLane on Jul 30, 2015 at 9:05pm

Give the social worker a list of things you use frequently, like size 2 pampers, he likes stage 2 squash, currently in size 6-9 months, etc. Doesnt matter if you can afford it or not, she wants to help, so give her some guidance. If you cant use it pack it away for later or give it to someone who can. My daughters birth grandmother sends large boxes of junk, i throw some of it away and store most of it. My daughter is old enough to be hurt/ confused by receiving useless “gifts”, im trying to teach her to be compassionate and understand grandma is trying to show love the best she can. In your case, its not hurting the baby and is helping mom, so you just have to deal with it

Posted by rn4kidz on Jul 30, 2015 at 10:30pm

I agree that it’s not worth the fight if she is sending things. Boxing things up or passing them along may be the best option. I think it’s definitely her way of having some control and showing she cares in the only way she can. However, I would put my foot down about the doctor’s appointments. He is with you full time and it needs to work best for your schedule. Our case workers would never let birth parents schedule appointments like that. If you are trying to have a good working relationship with her it wouldn’t hurt to ask her input about what times are good for her so you can go at a time that works for both of you if possible. Foster care can be difficult. I am all for supporting reunification and keeping a positive relationship with birth parents, but you have to protect your schedule and family time as well. You can set firm boundaries (scheduling the appointments) but still be inclusive of the birth mom. If you speak with her during the week I would be appreciative of the things she sends (even if you’re not), but let her know you will schedule the appointments since you are his primary caregiver and ask about some times that work for her. That way you are being honest and open with her that you still value her place in his life without feeling that you have to rearrange your schedule around other people making appointments.

Posted by BethR2to5 on Oct 27, 2015 at 1:12pm

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