Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Foster Care

As you may remember, I mentioned that we're doing Foster Care. We started the process in early July and finally were approved at the beginning of November. Luckily, it wasn't as invasive as adoption is, though it took just as much time for them to tell us we're good enough to be parents. Gosh, I'm so releived. Now I have two different groups of people who agree that we're not criminals.

Since we first discussed adoption years ago, we felt prompted to do Foster Care at some time in the future. The time has not been right until now. One reason we waited was that we felt we needed a permanent child before we could endure the heartache of giving back child after child after child. Now that we have Megan, we feel we can handle it.

Honestly, the only thing I worry about (besides the inital shock of having more children in an instant) is that I won't love them the same as I love Megan. I know how much I love her, and I don't see how I could possibly love somebody else's child the same way. And, these children in Foster Care need the same love as any other child. That scares me just a little. But, I have to remember that this is the Lord's plan for us right now. He will 'qualify us' for the work. I guess I shouldn't worry.

So, maybe you're a bit curious as to how Foster Care will work? I'll break it down for you.

1.) We told Foster Care that we only want children ages 0-2ish (we might have said 3... I don't remember). Let's be honest, we wouldn't know what to do with a 7-year-old! Plus, the younger they are, the less problems they typically come to us with.

2.) Foster Care may call us at any time with a placement. We are approved to have 3 more children in our home. We are hoping for a sibling group. Interestingly, sibling groups tend to be adopted more often than single children.

3.) The whole purpose of Foster Care is to reunite children with their birthfamilies. So, we will work with the birthparents in a plan for their children to return home. This is where the emotions get involved, because I'm sure we will love many of these children who will end up leaving us after several months.

4). After about 8 months or a year (depending upon the age of the child) plans will be be made for adoption if the birthparents haven't stepped up to the plate and done the things they needed to do to get their children back. If nobody from the birthparents' extended family wants to adopt the child(ren), then we are next in line to adopt them.

That's pretty much it: get a placement, work with birthparents toward reunification, and if reunification doesn't happen, we're second in line to adopt the kids. I'm sure it will take quite some time before we adopt any children through Foster Care, but that just comes with the territory. Right now we wait. But, luckily, we know how to wait. That's pretty much been our lives, so we're ready for it.

Now, please don't go on telling me how wonderful we are for taking in Foster children. I don't need to hear that we are saints or whatever for doing this. People always would say those things to us about adoption, but that's not how we felt. We need more children and this is just a way to do that.

Random interesting factoid: In the past, pictures of foster children could not be posted on the internet at all (meaning, you couldn't put pictures of them on your blog). Now you can have their pictures on the blog, but you can't state on the blog that they are foster children. So, if you ever randomly see pictures of other kids on this blog, and they live with us- those will probably be the foster kids. Just a heads up.

Have a great day, everyone.


Julie said...

You guys are amazing! That is so cool. I wish more people had the courage your little family does. You two will be great foster parents.

Lisa K said...

I can't wait to see your process because I'm interested in doing this down the road too!

mikensi said...

Cheeeehoooooo!!! (Polynesian shout out for you! Even though I'm Asian).

Sarah said...

We have also thought about doing this, even started filling out forms, but the timing just isn't right. Perhaps someday when our lives are calmer. In the meantime, as the mother of a child who was in foster care, thank you. I don't think you need to worry at all that you won't love them enough. You are already loving them, and you haven't even met them. It's a lot like adoption that way.

Unknown said...

Awesome!!! We know several families who have done fostering. Some with teenage girls, some with infants. I even have a friend (single girl) who fosters special needs children of any age. I have seen such blessings through every situation and am sure you will enjoy the blessing also.