The rambling thoughts of a Modern Orthodox Chassid (whatever that means). Contact me at emansouth @

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


In the past, when we have 'given up' foster kids (either back to their parents or to 'pre-adoptive' parents, friends have asked us how we do it. How do we give up kids with whom we have bonded?

In those cases, MHW and would look at each other and smile. "Think of it as a job", one of us would say. "Our job was to take care of this child for as long as he was in our care. It was a very hard job at times and we are relieved that it the job is over for now. Perhaps things will get back to normal in our house."

Indeed, even in the case of the Baby, as a practical matter, life would be much simpler if Ohel called up and said the Baby is going back to her biological mother.

With only older children in the house, MHW and I would be able to go out for dinner pretty much whenever we pleased. MHW would be able to join me on business trips to Europe once in a while. We would be able to pick up and visit our children and grandchildren when they move to Israel later this summer without much thought. MHW wouldn't have to severely limit the number of hours she works as a speech and language pathologist. The list goes on and on, as it does for anyone with small children.

This time, of course, it is different. What started out as a "job" quickly turned into something very different. When you start taking care of a baby when she is ten weeks old and are still taking care of her when she is a year and ten weeks old, it has long since become anything but a job.

That's why the uncertainty is so difficult. The only thing we know for certain is that this process, whatever the outcome, is likely to go on for a very long time. We don't see any hope of a quick resolution, which means the Baby will be staying with us for quite some time. But not necessarily forever.

And, even more difficult, (and without being able to go into any detail) I know in my bones that the best result for the Baby is to stay with us. I can't speak for Ohel but I think they have also reached the same conclusion. Even MHW, who has gone out of her way to give the biological parents the benefit of the doubt, knows in her heart of hearts what the best resolution is for the Baby.

(It is important to make this point...It isn't about us. Fostering IS a job; whether you take in a ten year old or a baby, you are supposed to be caring for a child on a temporary basis. That's what we signed up for. If the best result for the Baby would be to go back to her biological parents, we would be heartbroken on a personal basis but would be able to deal with it. What we would not be able to deal with is if it isn't the right result).

The problem is, what happens to the Baby it isn't up to me or MHW or, to a certain extent, even Ohel. It's ultimately up to a judge whom we can only hope does the right thing when the time comes.



  • At 3:59 PM, Blogger Uberimma said…

    It is painful even to imagine that kind of uncertainty. So far as she's concerned, she's yours. I hope the judge sees it from her eyes too.

  • At 5:45 PM, Blogger MoChassid said…

    Judges are very unpredictable. That's how you end up with Nixmary sitautions (not that I'm comparing the Baby's mom; it is nothing of the sort...just to illustrate how sketchy the legal system is).


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