Foster Parents

Posted 05-3-2011 at 08:19 PM by Ellen

My wife and I have been involved in foster care for over a year now and let me tell you, the things that you learn can be both mind-blowing and scary at the same time.  I’ll admit that I was the reluctant one when the topic to foster/adopt came up.  I finally gave in and I’m glad that I did.  I can’t believe that I didn’t get involved sooner!

The first thing we had to do was to get certified.  We attended a series of free courses given by CPS (Child Protective Services) and it was in those classes that my eyes and heart were opened.  We learned about what to expect from children and their families.  We learned to look for the positives in the situations.  We even learned that it was ok to be frustrated at times.  We role played and discussed several scenarios.  Our classmates would participate and give their opinions and we got really close as a class.  Part of the certification involved CPR training as well as a fire inspection of our home.  Those things I was glad to get as they are important to have anyway – with children or not.  Our home was inspected and we passed with flying colors (it wasn’t even a hard thing to do).  The required smoke detectors, fire exit plan, and fire extinguisher were all accounted for.

I think the hardest part was waiting for the first set of kids to show up after the social worker confirmed that we were available to house them.  It was past 9:00 PM when the call came in and the kids got to the house at about 10:00PM.  Yes, I said kids.  Parental instincts kicked in and they were in bed at about 1:00AM after a rough night.  Poor children, they had suffered a long night and now they had an opportunity to get some peaceful sleep.

What can I say, the rest just happened and it all worked out in the end.  They have been re-unified with their birth family since then and it has been a great reunion.  We have decided to continue in this path and have children with us now.  When we talk to others about this, the usual response is, “I couldn’t do that…it would be too hard to let them go.”  It’s a valid point but consider this, the effect you have on children in need and the lasting impression made on them is one that is worth any ounce of suffering incurred.  It is much better to suffer a small loss but to have provided a life-changing and positive timeframe in the life of a child is truly priceless.  I know those kids won’t forget us and we will not forget them.

If you’ve ever thought about pursuing foster care or adoption, let me encourage you.  It may just be what you have been looking for all along – I know it was for me.

Filed Under: General


9 Responses to “Foster Parents”

  1. BringMeTheStars on May 3rd, 2011 11:10 pm

    where do you get started? and what do you know about this concerning military families?

  2. aunt_freya on May 4th, 2011 4:09 am

    I found the process of getting certified to be eye-opening, at times depressing, and a constant reaffirmation of my desire to do this work. These kids need a “minimal of care”, one that I think any mama on this board could provide–you would be surprised at how bad the home life needs to be for children to be removed.

  3. Juan M on May 4th, 2011 8:37 am

    @BringmeTheStars – there are different rules depending on what state you live in. I have not heard of any problems doing this if you are a military family. There is a great need for foster/adoptive families right now.

  4. Chris10 on May 4th, 2011 8:51 am

    The “I couldn’t do that…it would be too hard to let them go” comment always annoys me as a foster parent. It’s not about MY feelings or ME being sad when kids leave. It’s about giving KIDS a safe and loving place to live when they need it most.

  5. poopstermomma on May 6th, 2011 6:10 am

    I love being a foster mom. <3

  6. ChicanaCoqueta on May 6th, 2011 8:20 pm

    Call your local CPS, social services agency, or foster care hotline to get started. In our county I found them to be very helpful and informative. Even though there is a great need and they are more than willing to help you through the process, they keep it real and really want you to understand the whole process and know what you are getting in to, what you can expect, and offer a lot of resources.

  7. lmommy25 on June 10th, 2011 11:26 am

    My husband and I have fostered for 4 years now and have had several and I mean several children in and out of our home. I do have to say for the most part we are still involved with many of them. The ones that have returned to birth families we are still there as a resource when it is needed and we still get invited to birthday parties and such. It is a joy to be a part of these children’s lives no matter how long or short the time is. And to know you are making a positive lasting impression on them is priceless.

  8. Elyse Ted on June 19th, 2012 2:17 pm

    So many foster children would benefit from loving parents looking out for them. If you think you can handle the challenge, find out how to make a difference in the life of a child:

    Elyse Ted, KidsPeace

  9. Together We Rise on June 21st, 2012 11:53 am

    That is so awesome! We have a similar mission! Check us out!

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