Yep. Kinda crept up on us for awhile. I had been drawn to it for a long time. We did not have a blinding revelation from heaven, nice tho that would have been, haha! We just have a heart for these kids. These temporary orphans. We have a strong family who loves – we have love to share. These kids need love and stability, while their family gets help. We are trying to provide that kind of care, it’s that simple.
Some things you should know:
1. We are not trying to adopt. That is the most frequent question I run into. We are not against it – no, we love the idea of adoption and should that door ever open, no telling what might happen. But as for now? We are just giving our family to this child. We are not trying to gain a child, grow our family, or get anything out of this. We are not ‘in it for the money’. (what money? cough, cough) Which brings us to #2…
2. We do not make money on these kids. Despite what you may have heard, you really must be able to prove that you can support your own family, before you are licensed as foster parents. Yes, you get a monthly stipend for their clothes, food, gas, etc. But most, if not all, of that will be spent on the child. Of course there are people who abuse the system, but I haven’t met them yet.
3. We cannot talk about the child’s case. We are not being rude or secretive. We are unable to share details about the child, the parents, why they are in care, details of health, etc. We can tell you their name, but that’s about it. Please make it easier for us by not asking why they are in foster care. We can’t answer.
4. We do not know how long the child will be with us. It could be days or weeks. It may be months or years. The plan is to get the parents to a place where they can take up parenting again. That varies widely, depending on the offense, their amount of support, etc. Even if we have an idea, I am told the plan can change frequently. All I can say in response to this frequent inquiry is: “Wait and see!”
5. We have to get permission to travel out-of-state, so please have patience if we can’t make it to as many gatherings as before. And while we are on the subject, there is many appointments, meetings, and obligations to change our schedule. We are not trying to ignore you – we may just be crazy busy!
6. We (and you!) are not allowed to share pictures and info about the foster child online. Please respect us in this. Imagine it were your child in someone else’s home, and how you would want their info shared.
7. We do not get to pick. OK, we can choose what age range we want, what level of medical disability we are comfortable with, etc. But it’s not like going into a baby factory and picking out your choice. We get licensed for a certain number of kids, determined by house and family size, etc. Then we wait till there is a child in care who fits our age range. We can say no – but we can’t request a certain child on a certain day.
Bonus: And we have no idea when we will be getting a child. Trying to predict when we get called with a placement is like trying to predict where lightening will strike.