I'm trying. I'm trying really hard to muster some of the compassion that I usually feel for my children's birth families, but in Bug's case... It's so hard!
I usually have a lot of compassion for my kiddos' families. Usually to the point of everyone asking me how I can want to help them... For me, it's easy to feel compassion for parents who obviously love their children. Yes, they made horrible mistakes and poor choices, but up to this point all of my kiddos have had at least one parent really step up from the very beginning and do whatever was asked of them in order to bring their little one home and to heal their families. Even the parents who were never able to overcome their addictions or who continued to slip back into making poor choices for the most part still tried. I can't imagine how horrible it must be to have an addiction or a situation that has such a strong hold on you that it ultimately costs you your life with your child. To this day, I still hurt for Monkey's birth mom. As much as she loved Monkey and as hard as she tried, she was just never able to heal.
Bug has been with me for two months, and his parents have yet to contact CPS! How do you simply forget that you have a child?!? How do you just go about your life and not try to do everything within your power to be with him or to at least make sure that he is safe and loved? Are you really more afraid of your outstanding warrants than you are of not seeing your child? Is your lifestyle really more important to you than the child you brought into this world? You have this amazing, sweet, happy, charming baby boy, and you wouldn't even recognize him if you ran into us on the street!
I am in that protective Mama Bear mode when it comes to Bug and pretty much want to jump down his caseworker's throat any time she mentions his birth parents (not that there's much to mention). They don't deserve him. They haven't even acknowledged that he exists! How long do you let him stay in foster care limbo while they continue to party and ignore him? I find myself getting angry when I think about all of the possibilities of what might happen if Bug goes back to his maternal grandmother. He'd be going right back into the exact situation that he was removed from. Nothing will have changed! His parents will continue to ignore him (although I suspect they will come around occasionally if CPS is out of the picture). His grandmother will continue to enable her daughter's poor lifestyle choices and Bug will grow up exposed to that lifestyle.
But... His grandmother is fighting for him. She hired her own attorney and is fighting to get him back. She's got issues of her own, and pitches fits when she doesn't get her way (like pouting for a month and a half and not visiting her grandson because the judge didn't rule in her favor), but she loves her grandson and is making the effort that his parents should be making in order to bring him home. I might not agree with a lot of her choices, but she loves my Bug. Her FB profile picture is evidence of that.
And that's when all of the wind goes out of my angry, puffed up sails, and I realize that my lack of compassion for Bug's family isn't helping anyone... least of all Bug and myself. My anger with Bug's parents and frustration with his grandmother's pouty fits isn't going to help him bond with them if he is able to return to his family. It's not going to help me cope with the loss any better if he returns home. I want to know that I've done everything in my power to help Bug return to a safe environment where he is loved, and I can't do that if I am sitting here in judgement with no compassion or empathy for a family whose poor "choices have led them into patterns of destruction and suffering." I can't be the kind of mother that Bug deserves if I am "having a spiritual crisis" myself. My baby deserves better.
So this is me... Making a conscious effort to put myself in their shoes. To harness my anger and to do my best to reach out to Bug's grandmother... This is me, trying to be the kind of mother that my little boy deserves.