Some words once spoken, can never be taken back, and these words qualify: “They weren’t even your biological children!”
Those truly horrific words were spoken to me, in my home, more than a year after my children from foster care left.
What my co-worker revealed in his statement was his belief in MAGIC DNA.
My children from Foster Care lived with me for four years, eight months, and 12 days, or 1717 days.
Yes, I call them my children after being their parent for 1717 days. Why I would call my children mine, was lost on my co-worker.
All he saw was that I wasn’t as happy and cheerful as I used to be, and he shared that he knew that that clearly meant there was “something wrong with me.”
He was surprised that more than a year after my children left after my children were loaded into a big SUV and driven away from me forever, that I might still be affected by losing them.
He was surprised that I didn’t bounce right back after standing with my daughter on the day she left, unable to comfort her, as her belongings were loaded into the SUV, unable to comfort her, as she pleaded with her eyes, “Please make this stop!”
He was surprised that my attachment to two children I parented for four years, eight months, and 12 days, was real, and strong, because after all we didn’t share DNA, so we weren’t really a family.
How did we get here, where DNA = attachment?
No counselor will say that that’s true, and we have plenty of counselors in our country – enough that we all know at least one, and I challenge you to ask them if they believe DNA = attachment!
Yet asking would be a bit silly, because we already know their answer. Our society chooses to ignore all the evidence and believe in MAGIC DNA.
Every parent who’s parenting a foster child, a step-child, an adopted child, or a child born with a donated egg or sperm or both, will tell you that DNA does NOT = attachment.
But for some crazy reason, every parent in this group is ignored, or discounted, or dismissed, and our society rolls on, pretending that DNA is ALL THAT MATTERS.
Family court is crazy, but not so crazy that they’ll completely ignore a child’s attachment to their foster parent(s), which causes a problem when a “Magic DNA adult” enters the situation.
A “Magic DNA adult” can’t win over a foster home where the children are attached and doing well, and the foster parents are fine upstanding citizens, so that causes a problem for the courts because they only get praise for reunification.
This was mine and my children’s situation. Therefore, to move my children, I had to be slaughtered in the Foster Care system, because the attachment of my children to me was so secure, it was visible to anyone who looked.
In our case, the children’s counselor even came to court and stated that the best interests of the children were to stay with me, but once a “Magic DNA adult” became available, I had to go, because I don’t have the right DNA!
It took them about 7 months, where my character was killed off, bit by bit, until the Judge had sufficient evidence that I was “bad,” and “Magic DNA adult” would undoubtedly be “better,” never mind that they had been out of rehab for less than a year, after decades of being drunk, high, and homeless!
That seven month was also the time frame that “Magic DNA adult” needed to get housing.
I’ll just let that last statement sink in…
My children came to live with me because other “Magic DNA” relatives had raised the “Magic DNA adult’s” other five children, and some relatives were still raising those children, so no relatives WOULD take my children, even though there were relatives that COULD HAVE taken my children.
They just chose not to.
So, my children arrived on my doorstep, and I took them in and cared for them, and together we built a family.
Now, my children and I are cut off.
“Magic DNA adult” has the children’s issues of being severely abused and neglected – magically disappeared!
Maybe DNA is magic?
If you believe either of those last two statements, YOU are the problem!
Children attach to adults that meet their needs, and those children then thrive in those adults’ care.
Adults that WANT to parent, and WANT children, attach to their children, regardless of the path those children took to enter their lives.
For 4+ years my children were in counseling, and I routinely joined them, so I have no illusions about the damage that was done to my children before they came into my care, and I know what injuries my children carry as a result of their early lives.
I know all of that, because my children trusted me, absolutely!
My children trusted me because they knew that I loved them, absolutely, and they knew I would never leave them because they ARE my children!
No DNA required!
It’s time for our society to give up on MAGIC DNA, because it’s used to move children, and moving children hurts them.
It’s time for our society to wake up, and read the studies, and change how we view the influence of DNA because in the end, shared DNA does not make any adult a healthy attached parent.
DNA is NOT MAGIC!
Those of us that care for a child are the healthy, attached parents because we are the adults that have chosen to parent that child, that needs us, when they need us, regardless of how anyone defines the “official” relationship between the child and us.
Those of us that care for a child are the healthy, attached parents because we chose to love and care for that child, to meet their needs, to want to care for them, and through our choices, we become attached, and that child truly becomes OUR child!
No DNA required!
THAT is why, more than a year later, I am still mourning the loss of my children,
even though they were not my biological children.