Friday, March 16, 2012

"Deadbeat Dads"

In less than a week, Monkey will no longer be "mine" if everything goes as planned at the hearing.  I'm not nearly as much of a wreck as I thought I would be though.  Monkey's case is so different from all of my others in that I've had time to prepare, transition, and develop a good relationship with his dad.  It's also different because I know he'll be right back in his room on Sunday night.  :-)  One way that Monkey's case is not so different from my others is that it is his dad who has stepped up and is regaining custody.

Looking back on my kids and their exits out of foster care, four out of my six were released into their fathers' care.  I know the term "deadbeat dad" exists for a reason, but when it comes to my experience in foster care, it has been far from applicable.  My kids' fathers have moved heaven and earth to gain custody of their children.  In Monkey's case, his dad has done more than what CPS has required of him.  I have no idea if this is a common phenomenon when it comes to foster care or not, but in my kids' cases, their dads have really stepped up.

Over the past month as Monkey's father and I have been working together to transition him home, I have seen his dad in action.  And I can honestly say that I have absolutely no reservations about Monkey leaving my home for his father's.  I think that's probably a very rare thing in foster care, but it's the small things that I've witnessed firsthand that reassure me that Monkey is in good hands when he's with his daddy.
  • Monkey racing across the room just as excited to see his daddy as he usually is to see me.

  • His dad always taking the time to come in and greet and pet Kitty Cat Tommie when he comes to pick up or drop off Monkey for visits.  I mean, really...  Anyone who takes the time to spoil and love on my cat has to have a good heart, right?!?  ;-)

  • Dad calling to check in on Monkey earlier this week to check on him and see how he was feeling after getting over his ear infection.

  • Monkey coming home last week on a cold, rainy day dressed appropriately in a hooded jacket and bundled in a blanket while his daddy carried him.  (Dad looked like he was freezing in nothing but a t-shirt and jeans, but that's a man for ya! :-)

  • Dad asking for my opinion on different baby products (ex. what works, what do I like, etc.) and always wanting to know what types of things Monkey prefers.

  • Getting the play-by-play rundown of everything care-related that happened with Monkey while he was with his dad.  Seriously.  The man practically tells me how many individual peas the child ate while he was with him!  It does reassure me though, so I'm happy to hear that Monkey passed wind at 12:36pm if that is what his father wants to share with me.  ;-)

  • Watching his dad pat his back, tousle his hair, kiss his cheek, etc. without even thinking about it while he's in the middle of a conversation with me.  All things that I do too when I'm holding Monkey...
Monkey left with his daddy this morning for a long weekend visit, and as much as I miss him when he's not with me, I know he's well-loved and cared for while he's with his father.  It definitely makes fostering much, much easier when you aren't afraid for your child when they leave your home.  I know so many of you have had to return your children to the exact same situation that they were originally removed from, and I know how scary that is.  I am just very, very thankful that my kiddos have gone to good places, and that the term "deadbeat dads" definitely doesn't apply when it comes to my kids.


CandCFamily said...

Great news for the little guy and hope he continues to do well. I love comments too :-)

*Brittany* said...

I hate that stigma of deadbeat dads.. my husband is one of the few dads who stepped up for our kids... So glad monkey has a wonderful daddy!

Kylee said...

What a blessing to see these dads stepping up for their children! Although we've had a couple of kids return to mom/dad (while they're still together), I don't think we ever had a child to live with only their dad. Many times the dads were already out of the picture before we ever got the child. So heartbreaking.

Andrea said...

Amazing. Our current guy is also going with his dad, though he'll share joint custody with his parents since he's military.

I'm so happy you'll be comfortable with Monkey leaving.

Anonymous said...

This warmed my heart!!!

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