Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Seeing the Other Side...

As most of you know I attend Al-anon meetings twice a week. I have learned a lot at these meetings and enjoy them immensely. Recently there has been a woman who has attended my Friday night meeting who has really gotten me thinking.

For a couple of years now I have read a great blog about an adoptive/foster parent. She has adopted one child from foster care and also has anywhere from 1 - 5 other foster children at any given time. I love her blog and try to read it every day.

Recently she has been having some issues with the bio mom of two of her foster children. They have been to court a couple of times to try to get to the point of terminating parental rights because the bio mom is not doing what she is supposed to be doing. As I have read her side of the story I have found myself rooting for her, in a sense. I know how much she cares for these kids and I know nothing about the bio mom so I was almost hoping that they would terminate rights so that she could possibly adopt them.

Then I met this woman in my Al-anon meeting. Let's call her A. A has four children who are in foster care. A loves her children very much and becomes very emotional when she talks about them. She has made some mistakes but she is trying to turn her life around and regain custody of her children.

On Monday there was to be a hearing to possibly terminate A's parental rights. Suddenly things are looking a whole lot different to me. I don't know A well enough to know exactly what she has or has not done to regain custody of her children. I know her story, as she has told it to me and a part of me aches for her.

I know she has made mistakes but from where I sit it looks like she is trying. Shouldn't she at least get the chance to be in her children's lives? It breaks my heart to think that there is a possibility that they could terminate her rights and she might never be able to see her children again.

It is amazing to me how your perspective on a situation can be so different when you only hear it from one side. Perhaps in all we do we should take the time to consider that there could always be another side to every story.