Voice Post: Adoptive Mom Crystal
Crystal is a foster mom lives in Austin Texas. She has a happy family with three biological sons and she became a foster mom in 2013. She took in an eight-months-old girl two weeks after being licensed as a foster parent. In her blog “Hands Wide Open”, she talks about her personal struggle with almost losing the child to the “fictive kin” and her frustration with the foster care system. In the blog “5 Things Foster and Adoptive Parents Want the World to Know”, she gave advice to traditional families from a subjective point of view.
In “Hands Wide Open” she records the inner journey when she was informed that she’s going to lose her foster daughter and criticizes the system from a foster parent’s point of view. Her voice in this blog post is full of emotion. She says that although last November she officially adopted her foster daughter, “our hearts are still raw and battered and stretched from the journey.” She describes the inner pain by using adjective to visualize the outside look of the “heart”. She also tells the reader indirectly that she had a choice of preventing all the pains by listing questions with quotes as if it is someone else’s voice.
“But what if you get too attached?”
“What if your kids get attached?”
“What if you get one of those complicated cases with no clear outcome?”
“What if you end up with your hearts broken?”
…Oh but what if we never had these days to get to know her and love her fiercely. What if we never said yes and never knew her sweet one-of-a-kind spirit. What if we never tested the limits of how far our hearts can be stretched. What if we didn’t get to be the ones to be her safe place for however long we have the privilege. And what if her story becomes one of redemption instead of rescue.
By answering each question she conveys to the reader that although opening herself up to love the foster child involves risks of feeling pain when the child is taken away, yet everything is worth it. Because “the fearfully and wonderfully made little soul. She is worth more than the what ifs.”
She criticizes the defects and cruelty of the foster care system by saying that “the sweet child’s world being flipped upside down all over again” and “being dropped into another new home with new people” during replacement. Using word like “flipped upside down” and “dropped into”, she illustrates the arbitrary and inhuman side of the system. “I can’t breath. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I can barely move. It feels too heavy. Overwhelming. Suffocating.” She also uses repetition by describing her physical pain to emphasize the psychological pain she went through.
In her blog “5 Things Foster and Adoptive Parents Want the World to Know”, she used antithesis to demonstrate her feeling as an adoptive parent and helps others to better understand her. For example, when receiving praise from traditional families, she describes her feeling as “when others put us on a pedestal, we feel like a fraud.” She uses contrasting to show the uncomfortable feeling when other people describe them as saints. She also used metaphor to illustrate the loneliness she feels as an adoptive parent by saying that “we are walking through muddy, unchartered water and there is a general lack of reliability in most social settings” and “our hearts are in a fierce game of emotional ping-pong as we sort through the mourning, rejoicing, exhaustion, confusion, gratitude, and grief that comes with the territory.” By describing the social settings as “muddy, unchartered water” and feelings as “emotional ping-pong”, she vividly illustrates the hardships that most adoptive parents are going through.
Crystal has a very emotional voice that carries her strong feeling as an adoptive parent. Her descriptive language and well use of various techniques make readers empathize with her.