The hard parts of Kinship…

Written on May 1, 2022

Kinship care is hard. I’ve never fostered a child who wasn’t related to me, but I’m guessing that no matter what it’s hard. The parts that are hard for me is the family part. Mary is my sister and I love her, and right now she blames me for her not having her son. She blames me for her not seeing her son, and she blames me for her lack of relationship with her son. Now I know that I am not the reason she doesn’t have her son. I also know that she is hurting, it just hurts me that she is so angry with me. I mean in some ways she is right. I have Carter, and I take care of him everyday. I have put up boundaries and lines, and protected Carter as much as I could. So while I don’t agree with what she is saying, I can understand why she feels the ways she does.

Today I went to a bridal shower for my cousin. I sat across from his aunt, who I’ve known for most my life. I don’t see her often, but I saw her today. Everyone was talking about their families and lives. I knew that talking about having Carter would make it hard, so I didn’t talk about him. Then she flat out asked me if I have any kids. I could feel my aunt tense next to me. I simply said yes and she said I don’t remember him. I pulled out a picture and just talked about how he is doing. I will hopefully be able to say next month that he’s my adopted son and say no more than that (update: I adopted him on May 18th, 2022) . The truth is I don’t want to feel like I have to hide my life, and I also don’t want to have to explain that I have my sister’s kid. I also know that for some family members it is awkward for them. It makes them uncomfortable. It just sometimes feels so isolating.

It isn’t just at family events this happens. My father it’s like we just don’t talk about it. He is glad I have Carter and he knows it’s for the best. He just doesn’t want to talk about it. He doesn’t call me, or ask me how we are doing. Talking about Mary at all is a big no no. He doesn’t want to know what’s going on. At times it feels like this whole thing has torn apart our family. Of course we all love and care about Mary, we want her to get better. What it comes down to is that she needs help, and she needs to want it get it.

People often say that he is so lucky to have you, and it’s nice that people say that. It doesn’t take away from the loss Carter is suffering. Both of his biological parents are not in the picture. Carter has nightmares and sleep walks. He has trauma, and he has a lot to work through. When things bother him or he gets triggered he takes it out on me. I have to constantly remind myself it’s not personal. He loves me he is just hurting. When the feelings/moments pass I know this is true. I am glad he has me and I have him. These are just some hard things that we have to navigate through. Some days we do it better than other days.

God has been so good to us. He always provides. I know through this all he is growing us and that he will use all this hard for good. That is who God is, I can already see the fruits. So I know there will be more.

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