Moms Going Through Reunification
Mother’s Day is a special day to celebrate all mothers. But for moms going through reunification it can be a difficult time. The weeks leading up to Mother’s day can be a bittersweet reminder of the time lost with their children. Every day can be a small battle to meet their assigned goals. As a result, the process can take you through a range of emotions. From hopeful and happy, to overwhelmed and anxious. That is why supporting these moms is an important part of successful reunification!
This post is to remind moms that they are not alone in this journey. This is why we would like to share one story from a mother who went through reunification.
Kylei Washburn Shares Her Experience With Foster Care and The Reunification Process
My youngest spent 517 days in the foster care system before I regained custody of her on December 21, 2021. There were many times of uncertainty where I was unsure if I would be getting her back or not. Luckily throughout this all I had an amazing foster mother who from the very beginning told me ‘I don’t just take on the kids, I take on the entire family.’ This brought me a level of comfort considering the level of shame I was feeling from losing my children.
Receiving support from foster parents is certainly a wonderful gift and is actively encouraged! Creating a positive message of togetherness can help the child avoid feelings of divided loyalty and build trust. Above all it helps the child emotionally transition during this traumatic time. Foster families can also help ease the emotional heartache of being away from their children for birth parents. Kylei tells us about the gifts she received.
I got a picture of my baby every day from my foster mom so I didn’t feel like I was missing out! I believe my higher power sent me this foster family as a blessing because even though I regained my children we have this amazing bonus family as well.
In fact, there are many ways foster parents can help birth parents who are missing their children! Saving artwork or keeping a journal to share with birth parents during visits are great examples. It can make a huge difference knowing that your foster parents are part of your team.
Additional Challenges After Reunification
The hard work doesn’t stop there. Parents face additional challenges after reunification and must continue to work and rebuild the relationship with their child after separation. During this time families can expect to receive additional support through programs and in-home services with a social worker. The goal is to work with families through the transition from the foster care system. This promotes an effective post-permanency and helps avoid re-entry into foster care. As a result, many families experience a positive change and a brighter future together!
Today I am a present mother, I can provide stability and all my children need, and I am proud of the woman and mother I am.
Finding a Forever Family
It’s wonderful to know that Kylei was able to reunite with her child and is making happy memories with her forever family! She describes how she continued contact with their foster family.
For me personally my forever family is a combination because my daughter is back with her biological family but our foster family will always be there. Our families are very much still enmeshed and I believe always will be.
Supporting Moms Through Reunification
There are many things (both big and small) that can help support moms going through reunification. Try offering support with transportation to court hearings, taking her out to lunch, or offer a shoulder to cry on during tough times when they’re missing their child. Letting her know that you’re cheering her on can be just the right thing to help give that mom a little extra push of confidence and hope! Kylei emphasizes the importance of offering compassion and support during this time.
There is a lot at play during a reunification process: Requirements, court hearings, long nights missing your children, tears, triumphs, etc. And patience with the process is appreciated.
We encourage moms to take care of themselves during this stressful time. There are many resources available to help manage the stress of reunification. So make sure you take a moment to take care of your mental and physical well being. We asked Kylei for advice to share with families currently seeking reunification.
Go for it, if you’re ready to turn your life around for you and your children! You are worth it and so are they and they deserve their bio parents if you are willing to give them the life they deserve.
If you are a mom who is currently in the process of reunification, we want to say that we admire your strength and courage. Please know that there are people out there who support you and believe in your ability to succeed!
Show your support by getting involved and help transform how children experience foster care. Consider making a donation with Together We Rise today! Thank you!