I think many of us agree that most children in kinship care are where they are because their biological parents could not/would not consider how their actions would affect the kids. I would like to say this trend is a generational trait that can be attributed to outside influences. But, I am not sure that it is all generational. I can recall many instances in my own youth in which children were being raised by grandparents and extended family because the parents kept popping them out with no real commitment to caring for them.
The term "caring for" seems so inadequate to me. Yes, I bathe, shelter, feed, clothe and protect my little Beastie boy, Aaron. However, I also rejoice in seeing him blossom under our love and affection. I love his earnestness when he has my undivided attention. He sees that I'm interested in whatever he feels is important and so, I think it is important, too. Nearly all of my actions and reactions take his physical, emotional and psychological wellbeing into consideration.
Imagine my surprise and unease when my husband recently asked if it were possible for our son, Aaron's biological father, to adopt him back someday, (if he were to turn his life around). The question, while asked innocently enough, was absolutely absurd to me. This isn't a matter of my son being able to raise his son. This isn't a matter of my son making amends for wrongs he has done. This isn't a matter of my son being "Daddy" to his child. It is all about Aaron and what is best for him and his development. Somehow, taking him from the only home he's ever known and planting him with a father who he has never depended on for love and care, does not strike me as best for Aaron. Perhaps I am being a bit selfish and possessive, after all, I love this boy as though he were my own son. But, uprooting him from his home and family in order to reestablish traditional family ties seems wrong and too late.
I love my son and I would be overjoyed if he pulled his life together and became a stable, loving figure in Aaron's and our lives. But, from a child's perspective the parental bond is with us, his grandparents. He will be turning 3 years-old in just a few days; all but 6 months of his life has been with my husband and I, even in those early 6 months he was with us every weekend. His stability, trust and dependence has been met by us, alone. To him, "Daddy" is simply the name of the person who visits and plays with him from time to time. The emotional bond that typically accompanies that title are nonexistent between Aaron and my son.
My answer to my husband's question was straightforward. I simply replied, "the chances of our son ever getting Aaron back, depends solely on Aaron and what he wants"
...For today, Aaron wants to be a super hero.
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