My husband and I are just now starting our process of becoming foster parents. When I say we are just starting, we just now turned in our paper work, haven’t really mentioned it to our parents, just now scheduling our first home visit. We are brand new to this long journey filled with mountains of paper work and lots of red tape. Being new to the process doesn’t stop people from putting in their feelings on the subject. I am praying that once we are finally through all of this and have some precious kiddos, that they don’t feel it appropriate to say a these things in front of the children. I understand that these people mean no harm and it is all coming from a good place. Sorta like the old lady in the grocery store giving parenting tips to the new mom.
“Won’t you get attached?”
Well, short answer… duhh! I am also the type of person that gets attached to the baby in the pew in front of me during Sunday Mass. Of course we will get attached, how can you not? We just hope that during the time they are in our home we can show them the love and support that they may not have ever had. Getting attached is the goal, we want the child to become a part of our family. No matter how long they spend with us we want them to know they are welcome, they are loved, and they are cared for immensely.
“That would be so hard“
Of course its hard. We will be pouring into these children like they are our own while they are with us and then, hopefully, sending them back to their families. We have been preparing ourselves for the day we have to give a child back to a family whose situation isn’t the best, we understand that it will be an awful feeling. We will try our best to focus on the positive, for the time they were in our care I would hope they felt loved and we made even a slightest difference in there life for the short time they were with us. Adding another person to your family is rough, but seeing these children that are down on there luck being placed in a home that cares for them is what makes the “hard” worth it.
“Are you not worried about your children feeling left out?”
This one is a tough one. We have struggled with how our five year old will react to another child coming into our home, especially since he is just getting used to having a little brother around. When we sat down with him and explained the process we were relived at his reaction. He is so excited to “have a friend to play with.” I am worried about this once our home becomes “open”. I pray that we are able to juggle adding another child and still give the attention to our children that they need. It is something that we will be conscious of and make changes as needed. But for now, he is just excited to have a playmate that doesn’t try to eat his toys.
“I couldn’t do it because ______”
I understand that fostering isn’t for everyone, and that is okay it is better the recognize that then force something that isn’t a good fit. You do not have to explain to us why your family wouldn’t be able to do it. We, however, feel called to become foster parents. I can’t say an exact reason why, expect for the fact that we see the need and want to be apart of the solution. They are tons of ways a family can help, and not fully commit to being foster parents. You can start by finding a family that does foster and be a support system, not just financially but maybe just be there for them to vent to or watch the kids for a few hours. I understand that you may not feel called, but we do and we just ask that your respect our decision and support us along the way.
Again, we appreciate that we have people that mean well when they say these things. But these phrases typically focus on the negative aspects of fostering, and maybe why so many are weary about becoming foster parents. We would like this to be a positive experience not only for the children placed in our care, but for our children as well.
Are you a foster parent? What questions have you received and how do you handle them?