In this episode of our Family Care Learning podcast, Brandon Jones speaks with Haley Morte about how she had to learn to trust God while fostering kids and navigating the child welfare system. Both Brandon and Haley have experience with fostering children and also are both child and family therapists and family coaches at Christian Family Care.
“They really did become a part of our family,” Morte said in the podcast. She talked about how the cases of the two kids she and her husband were fostering progressed, more disclosures came out and how it started to cloud their judgment. “I started thinking, oh my gosh, I don’t know if this is safe anymore. It’s really hard for me to want to co-parent right now, it’s really hard for me to trust that a transition home is going to be in their best interest,” she said.
“It’s such a hard place to be in, right?” Jones said. “Because you’re like, you’re doing all the parent stuff, right? You’re caring, you’re investing, they’re attaching and trusting you and one of the things you think about in a natural parenting relationship is parents make the decisions, right?” he said. He explains how as a foster parent you start pouring so much into your foster kids and then the State ca start making decisions about their permanency. “And I’m going oh man, I’m not confident that the kiddos are safe in the direction that’s going and so, like, I imagine that would just be incredibly stressful. I know it was in my own foster care experience, but what was that like for you?” “How did you deal with that?” he asked Morte.
“I could definitely tell, especially in the last, probably six months that my need for control was starting to get really heightened in that because you don’t have control in foster care,” Morte said. “As many of our foster families know, I would easily look for other outlets and ways to have control,” she shared. She said wanting to have control was a struggle for her for months. “I also have an attachment style of really dismissive so when things were getting a little bit tough, there would be times where it would almost just be like, let’s just think about it later when it happens,” she said. “Or, you know, I can’t even think about myself right now; we need to focus on the kiddos and what’s going on in their case and just really dismissing any of my own feelings as we were going through these stressors,” she added.
Morte said it’s challenging when you feel like you know these kids, maybe not better than their bio parents, but better than the judge. “I think that was something that both my husband and I really had to wrestle with at the end of the day, it went to a judge who didn’t know their case,” she said. Morte’s foster kids were reassigned to a new judge. “I don’t think I realized how big of a toll that took on us after they did transition out of our home until afterwards thinking, man, a lot of my anger, a lot of my feelings about, you know, what on earth just happened, it was really fixated on this fact that I had to give it to somebody that I didn’t know who didn’t know the kiddos or their case,” she said. She learned she had to find peace in trusting that they made the decision that they thought was in her foster kid’s best interest. “It’s a hard place to sit,” she admitted.
To watch the full podcast click here: Grieving In Foster Care With Your Spouse – Family Care Learning Podcast #5