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Is anyone here a foster parent???

Foster parenting, and possibly adoption someday if the opportunity arises, has always been something I felt pulled or called to do. At this moment, we cannot because our house is too small for the biological children we already have...but we hope to move sometime this year and DH asked me about it. It was really the first time HE showed true interest without me bringing it up first... so I thought it would be good to at least look into it.

I guess I'm just looking for info from people who have done it firsthand. I have read the info on our state's website... so I know the TECHNICAL aspects... but what is it like? What's it like having people looking through your home to tell if you have a safe environment? What is it like when you meet your first foster child? How do you find out who and when you are needed? Do they really do like in the movies and call you at all hours to say "Look...we have this kid and nobody else can take him..." or is it a more gradual process?

Mainly, though, how to do prepare yourself mentally and emotionally? I know the main goal of the foster care system is to give kids a safe place to stay until they can hopefully be reunited with their families..or if not...until they can be placed for adoption or unfortunately, until they are 18. How do you prepare yourself to fall in love with a child knowing you will have to give him/her back to someone else?

On the one hand, I know they would not be MY children and that I would have to go in with this knowledge...but at the same time... you have to open yourself up and love them, because love is what they need. But how do you handle it? I want to be fully prepared for what I am getting into here, and although I know our case workers and all that will explain things... knowledge generally comes best through those who have been in the trenches so to speak.

And how do you get your other children ready for the in and out of other children? Is it something you would recommend for someone still having kids...or with very young kids? Or should I wait until we are done and I am older? I'm not really sure when we'll be done to tell you the truth, but I would like a large family.

Has anyone adopted through the foster care system? How does that process work? If the child you are watching is freed for adoption and is doing well and is loved by your family, do they give you the option if it's also in the best interest of the child...or if you are looking to adopt should you say that outright and they will find a match already freed for adoption?

Give it to me straight...the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. I don't think anyone can know 100% if they are ready until they know every detail...

Thanks to anyone who wants to share!

Posted here so more would see it...and because it's not really an adoption post...so I wasn't sure where it belonged... it covers such a broad range of questions. lol.

Answer Question
 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 1:49 PM on Jan. 31, 2011 in Adoption

Answers (13)
  • I am not a foster parent, but I am a Foster Home Developer -- for an agency in Texas. You should check out fosterparent.com They can probably answer your questions! Good luck to you!
    And FYI -- If you want on the emergency placement list, then yes, they can and may call anytime (day or night) ! If you want foster-to-adopt, it is more of a gradual process. Just fostering -- they can call anytime depending upon how many and what ages children you wish to care for. Good luck!
    BaileysMom476

    Answer by BaileysMom476 at 1:58 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • I checked the site and it would have been really cool...except that when I click the links that say "more" to get more info... they don't do anything but take me to top of the same page. lol. I will check it again later... maybe they are working on the site.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:06 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • im not, but my SIL is, my grandparents were. i have an adopted aunt. my grandparents were also an' emergency' home, so they would get kids dropped off any time of day, in all sorts of conditions, keep them for a month or 2, and then (usually) they would go back to where they came from. and.. in a few months, they would often have the same kids dropped off again. remember my grandparents saying how hard that was, seeing these same kids coming back time after time, getting 'harder and harder' and not being able to keep them and love them.
    my SIL is a 'foster to adopt' home. tho since they were the only home in the area able to take 3 years and under, she also got a few others. they have a wonderful little boy they adopted, he will be 2 next month. they hope to get another child soon. i cant really answer your questions, but would you like me to let her look at your question and give you her reply? let me know pls, here or msg
    LadyEmrys

    Answer by LadyEmrys at 2:08 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • If she has time, I am interested! If not, maybe someone else around here will have answers... but thanks! I'd hate to take up her time if she's not wasting it prowling cafemom anyway like I am. lol. But if she has a bored moment, I love hearing peoples' stories. I would like to take in or foster-adopt young kids...but I thought they were easier to place, not harder? Even the potentially special needs ones...I could be very wrong though. lol. However, I do know if I adopt...I want to adopt a child who may not get a home otherwise... if that makes sense. It sounds bad... but our state website considers anyone aside from a healthy full term white infant as hard to place...and I can have those myself.
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 2:14 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • okay, i sent it to her, and will post her reply when i get it. ;p good luck getting some helpful answers! ;p
    LadyEmrys

    Answer by LadyEmrys at 2:23 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • I am not but I have thought about it instead of adoption
    MrsWeathers

    Answer by MrsWeathers at 9:43 PM on Jan. 31, 2011

  • I was a foster parent until the adoption of my youngest son. I have three kids now and wanted to make sure I had enough time for all of them and their activities:) Space in our house is also an issue.
    Becoming a foster parent was a great experience for me. I became a more patient and compassionate person because of it. It was a hard journey and my heart was broke many times and there were all kinds of things to be frustrated about but in the end I helped people that needed me. I also got the chance to adopt three of the world's sweetest children.
    Luuckymommy

    Answer by Luuckymommy at 9:49 AM on Feb. 1, 2011

  • we looked into this
    san78

    Answer by san78 at 1:09 PM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • I was a foster parent for years. It can be very hard to have someone looking at how you do everything in your household. They also can dictate how you do a lot of things you would never think they could. It is very rewarding to see children that are sad or afraid come in to your home and litterally blossom under your care. It is so very hard to give some of them up, especially when you know they are going to a home situation that is no better than it was.
    I stopped doing foster care when my son was born for two reasons. One-it was breaking my heart to give up some of the kids. and the second reason being that one of our first foster kids was placed with us because she tried to smother a baby in her previous foster home.
    If you have questions, feel free to contact me. I am more than willing to discuss it, and give the good and the bad-IMO anyway.
    Tawneekitn

    Answer by Tawneekitn at 7:02 PM on Feb. 2, 2011

  • My mom is currently a foster parent. It was something she had always wanted to do as well as adopt. She did adopt 2 boys from Ghana 15 years ago and is now in the process of adopted one of the kids whose been a foster in her home for nearly 4 years now. I was there visiting when she got her first foster kids, 2 sisters. In the beginning it was really exciting and great but after a couple of really difficult kids she had to really question weather she wanted to continue to do it. She does really enjoy making a difference in the lives of children who desperately need a safe family home to try to rebuild themselves and I have seen such an amazing change in the kids that come through her home. Foster parenting isn't easy and requires a lot of thought but good homes are really needed and if you can provide one then go for it.

    LadybugTash

    Answer by LadybugTash at 3:50 PM on Feb. 3, 2011

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