Reunifying foster kids with their birth parents in a home that is safe and supportive is the goal of nearly every case in foster care. This year, we celebrate National Reunification Month through the eyes of a mother whose family recently became whole again.
“After losing a baby during pregnancy, my husband and I were both devastated.
We were arguing a lot and our family was eventually reported to the state for intervention. During the court hearing, it was decided my husband needed to move out of the house. I was allowed to stay with my children. My husband was now living in our only car.
Unable to pay our bills, my kids and I stayed at Safehome and Salvation Army family shelter due to not being able to keep my job. I started using drugs to numb the emotional pain.
I didn’t feel good about myself. I was grieving the loss of our baby, my husband, our home and life, and trying to provide a place to live and food on the table.
During the next court date I was asked to take a drug test that came back positive even though I hadn’t used drugs for over three weeks because I had found out I was pregnant again. Even though I told the court I hadn’t used drugs, my children were all four placed in foster care.
My husband and I were both clean when baby number 5 arrived five weeks early. This is when we met so many supportive people from the NICU staff at the hospital to Dr. Jane Adams, who introduced us to Joni Hiatt with FosterAdopt Connect. These two women supported us, advocated for us, and made us do the hard work to get our children back.
They gave us hope and confidence that we were going to be successful.
During Christmas of 2019, our children ages 16 to 1 years old all returned to live with us. We are doing well. It’s hard during the pandemic, but I can’t imagine not having our family back together. Ask for help, you can be successful too.”