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© Gail Underwood Parker

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Caring Heart: Terminating Parental Rights

For foster and pre-adoptive parents.

Terminating Parental Rights.

Contradictions are not new for him.  Love from a parent.  Injury from a parent.  Joy at a safe place to live.  Pain at leaving people he thought he would grow up with.  But today must bring all new meaning to "conflicting feelings."  We don't even name it much out loud.  We call it "TPR" as if "TPR" sounds better.  "Termination of Parental Rights."  So formal sounding, as if formality could provide detachment and protection from all the feelings.  Now he is going to be forced to accept that the imagined miracle is not going to happen.  The dream is not going to come true.  Now he will realize that even the experts have given up on his parents being able to change, to raise him safely and healthily, much less happily.  His family is not going to be miraculously healed and restored.  After the court is adjourned his family will be officially and forever broken.  Not divorced.  Terminated.  Lord, we know that this is a chance for a new beginning for him.  It may even free him from some deep fears. Part of him may even know that. But right now, it is the ending that is consuming his heart.  Lead him to a better place.  Lead him to see the possibility of positive beginnings beyond the pain.  Remind him of the butterflies from caterpillars, the leaping frogs from paddling tadpoles.  Give him hope.  

Excerpted from "The Caring Heart Speaks: Meditations for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents" by Gail Underwood Parker    Artwork by Anna Parker David from the book cover. 

1 comment:

  1. I have a 15 year old son. He was adopted by my husband and I. We are his grandparents by birth. His mom was our daughter.I say was because she doesn't talk to us. WE've adopted four of her children due to her doing drugs. Now our oldest. (our daughters olderst) has been in a foster home for a year due to the fact, that he started abusing me and his dad. DHr. wants us to terminate our rights because he doesn't want to live with us, because he can do as he please in this ungodly foster home. the question is if we give up our rights, Alabama says we still have to pay child support until he is nineteen. How far is that.If we don't sign then we look like the bad guys. WE are older folks and can't take the abuse anymore from this child but we live on social security and were paying child support. To the fact that it's hard on the other three children we have. What should we do. Fight it or leave it alone and live in poverty and let these foster parents party on our money. HELP