Been a Foster Parent Since...
Type of Foster Care Provided
Emergency Care and Short Term Foster Care
How the Decision Was Made to Become a Foster Parent
We were blessed with a girl and a boy of our own and were debating about having more children. There was a poster about foster care on the front door where I worked that I saw every day. We decided to check it out feeling that there must be children already out there that might need our help. After going through the training we knew that this was what we needed to do. Apparently we were correct, as we have never been without children since:)
How We Shared Our Decision with Friends and Family
Our family was very understanding from the very first day. They have always accepted the foster children as part of the family. They often ask how we can continue to do this after a hard placement or losing children that we loved - our answer is always the same - "how can you not do it - they need us!"
One thing that I did not think about is how it would affect our extended family when the children left. I knew that it would be hard for us, but I feel bad when I see them hurt when a child that they also loved, leaves.
- Yes, I would still choose to be a foster parent.
- As far as things that I would change - well, I think that I would have waited until my own children were grown. While there were lessons that my children learned from doing foster care, there were also a lot of hurt feelings. I tried very hard to keep my main focus on my own children, but there are times that foster children can be very demanding! Then there were the times that foster children would make accusations against my own children - this is very hurtful! My children have both grown up to become amazing adults and are both still very supportive of us.
Carrie Craft, About.com Adoption / Foster Care, says:
I can relate to this foster parent - we too did not consider our family's feelings when foster children leave our home. Take the time to host a going home party so that extended family can say their good-byes. Many times birth family are very willing to maintain connections after reunification. There is nothing better than knowing that there are several people who love and care for a child.
I have often said that, "if we lose our family while trying to save another - what was the point?" Keep this in mind while fostering - don't lose your children while focusing on the demands of a foster child's needs. Remember to schedule time for your children - without guilt.