June 14, 2014 – By Linda Martin
Are you a parent whose parental rights have been terminated? Are you in need of support and understanding from others who have been through a termination of parental rights?
I’ve noticed more and more recently that parents who have been through a termination of parental rights are coming to this site, often looking for ways to reconnect with their children.
We all know that after TPR and adoption it is very unlikely that the children will ever be recovered.
I’ve heard of only a few such cases. There was unification with a natural parent when an adoption fell through. This is so very unlikely. I’m sorry, so very sorry… and I feel the pain of those who have lost their kids either temporarily and permanently. We are all connected, and I tend to connect to that pain so I’m with you on wanting the pain to stop and wanting some kind of resolution and an end to the trauma experienced by parents who have been TPR’ed.
God has put it on my heart to start a new message board area on our message board forum, called TPR Parents.
TPR Parents is a place for parents who have been through a termination of parental rights to network about ways to reconnect with their children, cope with the trauma of separation, and promote advocacy against this cruel system of family destruction.
I hope that many of you who have been through this horrible traumatic attack on your soul, your spirit, your motherhood or fatherhood, will find some benefit and support from sharing your issues and concerns with others in the same situation.
Here are a few suggestions I’ve got for parents who have been through a termination of parental rights (TPR).
1. Set up a blog at http://www.blogger.com to write to your children. The goal would be that your children would eventually find your blog, their childhood photos, and stories about their early days, and thereby know how much you love them, and what led to their time in foster homes.
2. Do the same on Facebook, and any other major social media site that comes up in the future. Get your name out there for the kids to find. Moreover, get their names out there, because eventually almost everyone Googles their own name to see what’s there.
3. While doing what I suggested above, do not put anything potentially embarrassing on the web. For example, if a child has been sexually abused you should NOT mention that as it would cause them a ton of embarrassment when their school friends see it… and they could end up hating you for that. Use caution and wisdom in setting up any websites or pages concerning your children. They would be most interested in reading nice stories you remember about them while they were growing up.
4. Learn about court cases in your area regarding parents whose rights have been terminated. You can find these at a law library in your county. Look for appellate cases. Share those on the message board for TPR Parents. Educate yourself about the law as much as you can.
5. If you’re praying for help, wait for God’s timing. In the Bible there are many references to waiting, because God isn’t on our time schedule. For example: Psalm 37:34 is one I saw during my morning Bible study today: “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt you to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.” Enlisting the help of God by sincere faith in Jesus is the most effective way to get traction, because God is the only one more powerful than the evil child welfare system that takes children and destroys families. Don’t expect instant results from God because He heals us through waiting, but keep the faith and know that if you give it all to Him, He will be there for you.
6. Strengthen yourself mentally. Do not give in to a desire to use drugs or alcohol to numb the pain you’re feeling. This will only cause more problems, and soon these substances will control you.
7. Learn about the effects of trauma, and examine your life to see how much this has affected you. Start a self-healing journal, and be kind to yourself. We all go through difficult times, some more than others, it is true. If you’re filled with guilt and shame, realize that almost all people go through that. Only sociopaths don’t feel bad about things they’ve done. And we are all sinners; every one of us has made mistakes. That’s the human condition. So don’t feel alone. Don’t feel stigmatized. We’re all in this together.
8. Increase in wisdom. A good place to start is to read the Biblical book of Proverbs. There are 31 chapters. Many people read one chapter each day, reading through the book once each month, repeatedly. The more wisdom you get, the better your life will become, and in the event that your children return to you someday, you’ll be better able to help them with their trauma, troubles, and despair.
9. Help as an activist to expose and change the CPS system. Your help is crucial, because most people who still have their children are afraid to speak out. You may want to be quiet, hide the pain, and hide the truth about what happened to you. Maybe you’re afraid of what others will say. However if you speak out about injustice and corruption, bravely, fearlessly, you’re more likely to get the respect of others than if you cower in fear and shame. Go to congress, tell them your story. Ask for new laws that will protect people from experiencing what happened to you. It could be that your pain will be transformed into something powerful and beautiful, giving a benefit to all others who come behind you.
Okay, those are only a few suggestions. Anyone else wanting to give comfort, helpful advice, or information to TPR’ed parents, please leave a comment below.