I love Summer and its longer days and of course, fun in the sun! Remember, with that fun in the sun comes a few extra responsibilities for foster families.
Here is a quick checklist of things to consider, and as always, check with your foster care agency to be sure that you're not missing anything.
What do you have planned this summer with your children? Click "comments" below and share.
A Checklist of Summer Rules for Foster Families
Foster Family Vacation Planning
The Pros of Including Foster Children in Your Family Vacation Plans
The following is a blog I did for Father's Day 2010 as part of an About.com Blog Carnival. In honor of Father's Day, I have decided to re-publish the blog each year. Please note that the links to the blogs belonging to other Guides are also from 2010. I hope you enjoy and Happy Father's Day!
Carrie Craft and her dad, Charles, sometime in the early 1970's.
Photo © Carrie Craft
We had our Father's Day traditions growing up. Father's Day meant a fishing trip, sometimes over night. Dad got to fish some, but mostly he spent it baiting hooks for three little girls, retrieving lines from trees, and getting hooks unstuck from the bottom of the lake. (He had a special technique that seemed to always work - until the line broke.) Not all fathers would have been as good spirited about a special fishing trip being spent on keeping 3 kids happy. When I think of my father I think of the song, Daddy's Hands, by Holly Dunn.
When I think of foster and adoptive father's the song, He Didn't Have to Be by Brad Paisley comes to mind. If you're not familiar it's about a step-family. The chorus:
"And then all of a sudden
Oh, it seemed so strange to me
How we went from something's missing
To a family
Lookin' back all I can say
About all the things he did for me
Is I hope I'm at least half the dad
That he didn't have to be"
The stereotypical man who runs from responsibility is lost on the men who choose to be foster and adoptive parents. Where one man drops his responsibility, another dad willingly steps into that role and picks up where the other man left off.
I think of my husband, who not only adopted 3 boys as his own, but also has fostered both short and long-term over 50 children. He has spent time working side-by-side with them on homework, played tag, and made midnight runs to the store for medicine.
I think of my father, who has stepped in as a grandpa to the many foster and adoptive children in our lives, taking them to work with him on the truck whenever they got suspended from school and suddenly had days open to work. (It's amazing how not going to school opens one's schedule up to other opportunities.)
I think of my father-in-law and how he helped us with behaviors with our adopted sons, when he let them stay evenings with him, and how just last week he helped me when our last foster placement baby wouldn't stop crying. So he stayed for over an hour keeping baby happy.
Other Guides Share Thoughts on Father's and Father's Day
The Guide to Single Parents honors single fathers in her blog and ends by saying, "Know that the work you're doing matters to your children, and will not be quickly forgotten."
The Guide to Fatherhood shares that often, the best father's day gifts are not from the store. I know a gift I made my father when I was a kid still hangs on the wall. If you need ideas for handmade gifts, the Guide to Family Crafts, has a listing on her Father's Day blog.
The Guide to Working Moms shares the value in noting the differences in parenting styles and asks, "What have you learned about parenting from the men in your life?" The Family Fitness Guide shares that she has learned the value of being a role model for staying active from the men in her life.
The Guide to Stay-at-Home Moms, shares the difficulties of Father's Day since losing her father at a young age and how she can now find the sweetness in the holiday through the eyes of her young son and the love of his daddy. Sometimes, for those who have lost their fathers, Father's Day is a time to remember and pay tribute such as one reader has done with this blog entry, a blog tribute to her father, a WWII veteran.
The Grandparents Guide shares the importance of grandfathers and how their roles have changed over the years. While another Guide, the Guide to Work-at-Home Moms shares how father's working from home have changed in recent years as well.
I would like to end by saying, thank you to all the fathers and grandfathers - especially to those who didn't have to be.
Don't forget that on June 15 and 16, participating Wendy's restaurants across the country will donate a minimum of 50˘ from every Frosty product sold to support Wendy's Wonderful Kids a signature program of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption (DTFA) that finds adoptive families for foster children. This includes the original Frosty as well as parfaits, shakes and floats.
Since 2007, Father's Day Frosty Weekend has raised more than $8 million for the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption in support of Wendy's Wonderful Kids, a program that finds permanent adoptive homes for children in foster care.
So, buy a Frosty, this weekend. What an easy and great way to help foster kids find forever adoptive homes!
To see some of the former foster children who have been blessed with adoptive homes, please see this video entitled, Say, Yes. It makes me cry every time!
What Is Wendy's Wonderful Kids?
What Is the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption?
Who Was Dave Thomas?
If you missed last night's premier of The Fosters, a new show on ABC Family, then according to Chris Chmielewski, Editor of Foster Focus magazine, you missed out. Well, I guess I missed out too, but never fear - the premier episode is running again today at 1pm.
The Fosters follows a foster family and the ups and downs they face as different children enter their home. The crew includes a lesbian couple, two adopted children, one birth child and a new foster placement. While reading comments from viewers of last night's episode it is clear that most found the show to be pretty accurate, while a few felt that it was too cliche or unrealistic on some points.
I look forward to watching this afternoon's episode and making my own judgement call. Take a moment to read Chmielewski's review, then watch and let me know what you think. Remember 1pm CST, ABC Family, today!