I am the foster care licensing worker for Bridget and Glen Martin, and I’d like to share their story with you, because it illustrates the sadness and ultimate hope foster parents sometimes go through.
The couple was licensed in May 2013 as a dual home, which means they are foster parents, but their ultimate goal for becoming foster parents is to adopt. After learning that the goal for almost all of the children in the child welfare system is reunification and what we do to achieve that goal, they decided that, although they were scared of losing a child placed with them, they were committed to giving this a try.
The Martins received placement of a baby needing a dual home in June 2013. The court and initial assessment worker told them they were sure the baby would be adopted, as his biological mom had recently had her parental rights terminated for other children of hers. The Martins fell in love with the baby and very much wanted to adopt him. But the biological dad stepped forward, and the baby was reunified with his father in September of 2013.
The Martins (as well as their extended family) were heartbroken. After saying she felt totally blindsided, Bridget asked me outside of court, “How do you do this every day?” I told her, “I get through this by knowing, if you stick with it, I will be at your adoption one day.”
Many times, this is a make-or-break moment for our families. But instead of giving up, the Martins decided to keep at it. They opened up their home to a wider range of children (who were not identified as dual placements) and quickly received two separate placements. As luck would have it, parental rights recently were terminated for one of those placements, and adoption is scheduled for April. The Martins are continuing placement of the other child as well, and they are open to being his adoptive parents if needed in the future.
Bridget told me losing the first boy was the hardest thing she and her husband ever had to go through. “We both didn’t know how much a heart could hurt, but now our hearts are shining with joy and pure happiness,” she said, as they are approaching their adoption date of the little girl. “Adopting her is a dream we thought we’d never have come true. She’s our everything!”
I am so proud of the Martins for their dedication and understanding of the process we go through. After the heartbreak, they could have easily closed their home. But instead, they recognized the value of the baby being reunified with his father. They loved parenting so much in those three months, they couldn’t possibly give it up. Although it was super scary, they opened their home again.
I am so happy they will be adopting their little girl, and this makes me sure of the fact that everything happens for a reason!
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