It was spring 2011 when our first foster child was brought to our home. Over the years that followed, our hearts grew and broke in ways we never anticipated.
We went into foster care hoping that we would get the chance to adopt. Sadly, this caused us to start our journey closed off to a large population of those hurting within the foster care system — the biological family.
We had this tiny little baby in our home who was hurting and in need of healing, and we knew we could provide that love and stability. What we did not know was that she had another mom and dad and extended family who were also hurting and needed healing.
The more time we spent as foster parents the more hurt we saw all around. We came to realize that the biological family is not the enemy and that we can love them as we love their children — even if it comes to adoption.
Sadness and hope
On the day that parental rights were terminated for our daughter, I felt the most polar opposite feelings that I have ever experienced. I felt this great relief that this child who had become a part of our family would be staying as such — forever. I also felt this deep sadness as a mother for the mom who was losing what I was gaining.
I heard someone say the other day, “I don’t even want to celebrate our daughter’s adoption or let anyone know that it is happening, because it comes from such a sad place. “ While it is true that adoption comes from a deep place of sadness that we wish was not a part of our child’s life, it also brings a beautiful hope. Hope that destructive cycles can be broken, and that our children’s children will not experience the brokenness that they did. It is both sadness and hope for our kids.
Yes, we originally went into foster care with the hope of adopting. What keeps us involved in foster care today is the hope of healing not just of the children who enter our home but also the families they are connected to.
– Charonne Ganiere, licensed foster parent
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services recruits, trains and provides support services for foster families. The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is great. Contact us to receive information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or visit our website to learn more.