Build a Family

Our children are post childhood now although they are still stuck at home.

And being parents of adult children it presents us with many options: we’ve joined a gym, we vacation as a couple, we go on day excursions, we got a dog. Our possibilites are open wide,our funds, however, are near shut.

I’ve been missing how little ones around, though. I don’t miss the teenagers since I work with them daily, but I like younger children, under ten who are okay with being kids and not ready to jump into the world of teens.

Yeah, I miss that.

So  So the signs were all there that it’s time to bring a little one back into our lives. An d by signs I mean billboards, all around us.

Then there were the sermons at church. And a friend keeps posting on Facebook about Foster Care/Adoption Fairs. And then there is my new favorite tv show, “The Fosters” on ABC Family.

Just from working with teens at the library I know that the need for Foster Parents in the world is great. But I just don’t know if I am capable of being one.

I love kids, I love to hugs kids and be around them. Most of the teens that come into my department are the most awesome young people anyone could meet and then there are the teenagers that makes one question why the human race needs to continue.

On thinking about the children that need a family you have to think about what your abilities are and the amount of time you have. I didn’t think this hard about parenting when I was pregnant, I mean I skimmed a what to expect type book or two beforehand but mostly I expected to wing it.

Foster parenting you can’t wing.

They give you a list of what type of issues you are willing/capable of handling with a child. Stealing, lying, sexual abuse, enuresis, and more on that laundry list. They can have one of the issues, or a combination of them. Plus, one has to facilitate a relationship between the child and the estranged parent(s), carrying the child to the arranged meeting place.

The child can be with you for a few week, months or a few years with things in limbo as to whether things can be resolved between the parent(s). During that time the child may be dealing with conflicting feelings about the absent parent that meanwhile the fosters parents –generally the mother but we can say its the regularly present caregiver– has to deal with.

While all this is occurring you are developing a relationship with the child, taking care of the child and in the end the child –even after two to five years– may not be your forever family member.

Then there is the age thing –do you want a young child? Most children are older but even with babies you have to pay for daycare, you have to find a good daycare.

Foster care children generally come with siblings, can you take them also?

I have been consulting with a few friends who have gone through the system and they have different feelings about fostering. One friend loves it but she has no plans to adopt, only foster. Another friend wants to adopt. She has fostered three times and the previous two times she hoped to adopt the children who took a place in her heart and each time they went home. The latest child may be hers; she’s hoping the third time’s the charm.

So J and I are going to continue with the classes while we decide whether fostering is for us. Meanwhile I am researching adoption options. But those are thoughts for next time.

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