Foster Care


#1

Good evening! I will try to keep this brief but also want to give you enough information to understand me.

For many years I have felt drawn to foster care. It seemed in the future though, you know when I am married, when I have my own kids, etc… Well that hasn’t happened yet. I decided to go through the process and got my license to provide foster care 2 years ago. I rarely got calls. I said yes a couple of times when called but they had already found someone else and then others I wasn’t comfortable with. They have made many changes to the foster care system in the past couple of years, making it much more difficult for me to do. Some examples are now you have to be open to a wide age range, like newborn to 10. Another is you have to be willing to take siblings. Oh and now everyone is considered emergency care so I could get a call at 2:00a.m., miss a day at work and then have the child go with a family member that same day. I am a teacher so I can’t miss much work. I was up for renewal in March and was feeling very overwhelmed by all these changes and my case worker recommended I close for now.
I regretted closing my account and decided recently to reopen. Now I have to fill out a ton of paperwork again and have another home inspection. Basically I have to do everything I did initially except take the classes. I am starting to have 2nd thoughts. I know I would provide a great home for a child in need. I just don’t know if I can handle the other stuff. I am frustrated with myself. I feel like I am failing if I don’t follow through. Really I am just asking for your prayers that I may be able to make a decision and stick with it.


#2

There’s an old song by Garth Brooks Called “I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers” or something like that. Everyone I know that has gotten involved with foster children has regretted it. I adopted three and like you I longed to make a difference in a child’s life. Life doesn’t always work out like you hoped. I am passionately sure that you will have more impact as a teacher than you ever could as a foster mother. Though it may not seem like it right now, closing that case is the best thing that ever happened to you. Embrace it. Prayers for you that you have children in your life in the future. Good luck to you.


#3

You can do a huger amount of good as a foster parent! If everyone listened to the previous poster, all children whose parents can't take care of them would be in orphanages :(.
We are waiting for an adoptive placement from the foster care system and have been for some time. The wait is hard, but we are being patient. God's time isn't ours.
If you're called to it, you're called to it. Pray, pray, pray. There's no hard in being certified and not using that certification, KWIM?


#4

I have known many families that help with foster care, but the are at least a couple and usually older.


#5

[quote="azgirl, post:1, topic:212601"]
Good evening! I will try to keep this brief but also want to give you enough information to understand me.

For many years I have felt drawn to foster care. It seemed in the future though, you know when I am married, when I have my own kids, etc.. Well that hasn't happened yet. I decided to go through the process and got my license to provide foster care 2 years ago. I rarely got calls. I said yes a couple of times when called but they had already found someone else and then others I wasn't comfortable with. They have made many changes to the foster care system in the past couple of years, making it much more difficult for me to do. Some examples are now you have to be open to a wide age range, like newborn to 10. Another is you have to be willing to take siblings. Oh and now everyone is considered emergency care so I could get a call at 2:00a.m., miss a day at work and then have the child go with a family member that same day. I am a teacher so I can't miss much work. I was up for renewal in March and was feeling very overwhelmed by all these changes and my case worker recommended I close for now.

I regretted closing my account and decided recently to reopen. Now I have to fill out a ton of paperwork again and have another home inspection. Basically I have to do everything I did initially except take the classes. I am starting to have 2nd thoughts. I know I would provide a great home for a child in need. I just don't know if I can handle the other stuff. I am frustrated with myself. I feel like I am failing if I don't follow through. Really I am just asking for your prayers that I may be able to make a decision and stick with it.

[/quote]

I think it's a calling to do this sort of thing and I think I have that calling too but I've left it to GOD to work it out on the financial side since right now I working several jobs it's not in the the realm of reality for me. My prayers are with you though.


#6

[quote="pentecostbaby, post:3, topic:212601"]
You can do a huger amount of good as a foster parent! If everyone listened to the previous poster, all children whose parents can't take care of them would be in orphanages :(.
We are waiting for an adoptive placement from the foster care system and have been for some time. The wait is hard, but we are being patient. God's time isn't ours.
If you're called to it, you're called to it. Pray, pray, pray. There's no hard in being certified and not using that certification, KWIM?

[/quote]

This is a single woman who works to support herself as a teacher. There's only so much a person can do. I know that a lot of single/divorced women work and raise their children, but that is within the realm of an established relationship and a lot of mutual understanding. I really don't think the OP has enough resources to be able to be a good foster care provider *and *teacher.


#7

[quote="St_Francis, post:6, topic:212601"]
This is a single woman who works to support herself as a teacher. There's only so much a person can do. I know that a lot of single/divorced women work and raise their children, but that is within the realm of an established relationship and a lot of mutual understanding. I really don't think the OP has enough resources to be able to be a good foster care provider *and *teacher.

[/quote]

I will tell you my heart broke when I saw the first response. I am not a foster parent, so I did not feel fit to reply to it, since I do know her feelings are very valid and I have read about extremely difficult experiences people have had fostering/adopting, but I also know of other beautiful experiences. I don't know what God has in store for each of us and I do think the OP needs to try to evaluate what God may be asking of her. She may find that in her present situation it might not be what He is asking, or she may find it is exactly what He is asking.

My uncle left my aunt (who was battling with breast cancer). My aunt, a teacher, was then left to be a single mom to my cousin. She was a foster mom (and a foster pet owner too). She had kids coming and going. One time she was sent a little baby boy with fetal acohol syndrome. His parents couldn't get their act together (I think alcoholism, drugs, in and out of jail kind of thing). He stayed with my aunt and she took him to all his medical appointments (he had cleft palate and all sorts of complications due to his mom's usage of alcohol etc during pregnancy). Long story short, she ended up adopting him and giving him a much needed stable home and someone to take care of him through all his treatments. He just turned 12 last week, he is still undergoing operations and etc, but he is still her "sweet boy" that "keeps me young" and he has flourished so much with his loving mother. I can definitely see God's hand there.


#8

[quote="Mary168, post:2, topic:212601"]
There's an old song by Garth Brooks Called "I Thank God for Unanswered Prayers" or something like that. Everyone I know that has gotten involved with foster children has regretted it. I adopted three and like you I longed to make a difference in a child's life. Life doesn't always work out like you hoped. I am passionately sure that you will have more impact as a teacher than you ever could as a foster mother. Though it may not seem like it right now, closing that case is the best thing that ever happened to you. Embrace it. Prayers for you that you have children in your life in the future. Good luck to you.

[/quote]

I can't let this one go without comment either. I don't know if Foster parenting is the right thing for the OP, but I do know that it can be an amazing experience and a wonderful way to have about the deepest impact on a person's life possible.

My wife and I have been in FP for several years. Over the last 13 months we have adopted three girls. They are amazing, beautiful, smart and loving. Oh, yes, they are also broken. I don't mean that in a pejorative manner, but the fact is: when the God ordained bond between birth mother and child is broken, there is an emotional cost. Our daughters have issues that come from this break, but nothing that can't be dealt with. They, like our other children, need help to overcome their struggles and be positive, capable adults when they are grown. We're not blind to the possibility that our daughters will have significant problems in the future. Our 7 natural children came with many of the same issues, though. Some of our children were born with significant health or intellectual challenges (or both). When you are a parent, you are out of control of certain aspects of your life.

Each of the birth parents of our daughters was a child in the foster care system themselves. If the cycle of fail isn't broken, generation after generation suffers. To me this is a visible example of the sins of the father being visited upon the children.

I know many people in the FP program who are very happy with their roles. It is a difficult place to be sometimes, but Jesus said, "When you do it to the least of these, you do it unto me." If these kids aren't the "least of these", then no one is.

I'm sorry that the above quoted poster is bitter about his/her time in FP. No one I know feels the same way as this person.

FP is about being a servant to another person. Sometimes being a servant isn't fun. I've been threatened by birth parents who are high on crack. I've wondered if our family is safe at times. I've also had each birth mother ask us to adopt their child when the state finally removed the parent's rights. I've had them in my home for Thanksgiving dinner when they were alone and feeling bad. It has given me the most tangible experiences with helping other people in my life. I am thrilled to be a FP and treasure all the experiences, good and bad.


#9

To OP:
Listen to your instincts. If it is not working out and you are having doubts, perhaps now is not your time for being a foster parent. Yes, it is a wonderful service, but it is also an extreme amount of work and without a flexible work schedule (school IEP meetings, medication appointments, therapy appointments, visits with birth/future adoptive parents, etc.) and support for yourself, it may be not where you are at right now.
We did foster parent and it is very rewarding, but that does not mean you are in the place to do it now. Our first attempt at fostering years ago fell through. I see now why that was NOT the time for us. Years later, we revisited the process and moved forward.

I do have a suggest for you though. There is a program called the GAL (Guardian As Litem). A GAL is a volunteer who works with children who are part of the legal system due to an abuse/negelct case or custody battle. The GAL meets with the child, family, teachers, etc. (you do so on your time/schedule). You then become the child’s spokes person to the court and social workers and advocate for what is BEST for the child (return home, stay in foster care, move to foster home with his sibling, etc.). GAL’s usually have a very close relationship with the child, but do not provide the physical residence or daily care as does a foster parent. Another difference, however, is that there is not pay for a GAL.

Finally, PRAY, PRAY, PRAY. Ask the Lord to make it VERY clear to you whether you are to pursue your foster license right not. If so, go for it and things will work out. If not, wait awhile and see if a different door opens for you to serve.

Taben


#10

[quote="ChosenAndCalled, post:8, topic:212601"]
I can't let this one go without comment either. I don't know if Foster parenting is the right thing for the OP, but I do know that it can be an amazing experience and a wonderful way to have about the deepest impact on a person's life possible.

My wife and I have been in FP for several years. Over the last 13 months we have adopted three girls. They are amazing, beautiful, smart and loving. Oh, yes, they are also broken. I don't mean that in a pejorative manner, but the fact is: when the God ordained bond between birth mother and child is broken, there is an emotional cost. Our daughters have issues that come from this break, but nothing that can't be dealt with. They, like our other children, need help to overcome their struggles and be positive, capable adults when they are grown. We're not blind to the possibility that our daughters will have significant problems in the future. Our 7 natural children came with many of the same issues, though. Some of our children were born with significant health or intellectual challenges (or both). When you are a parent, you are out of control of certain aspects of your life.

Each of the birth parents of our daughters was a child in the foster care system themselves. If the cycle of fail isn't broken, generation after generation suffers. To me this is a visible example of the sins of the father being visited upon the children.

I know many people in the FP program who are very happy with their roles. It is a difficult place to be sometimes, but Jesus said, "When you do it to the least of these, you do it unto me." If these kids aren't the "least of these", then no one is.

I'm sorry that the above quoted poster is bitter about his/her time in FP. No one I know feels the same way as this person.

FP is about being a servant to another person. Sometimes being a servant isn't fun. I've been threatened by birth parents who are high on crack. I've wondered if our family is safe at times. I've also had each birth mother ask us to adopt their child when the state finally removed the parent's rights. I've had them in my home for Thanksgiving dinner when they were alone and feeling bad. It has given me the most tangible experiences with helping other people in my life. I am thrilled to be a FP and treasure all the experiences, good and bad.

[/quote]

I don't consider myself bitter, so please don't say that. She asked for advice and I gave it based on my experience-almost eleven years. She said she would have a hard time missing work for calls in the middle of the night. Foster parenting is harder than regular parenting and she is a single woman. Will she able to miss work if the child is arrested and she has to be in court? If they are expelled and they have to be supervised at home for the duration of that expulsion(6 months to a year)? Will she be able to cope if the child falsely accuses her of abuse and she loses her teaching license over it? Will she be able to handle it if after all her years of dedication the child never speaks to her again after eighteen? What about if they set her house on fire or break up her future marriage. All these things have happened to people I know. If the answer is yes, then maybe she should proceed. If she feels this might be too much for her, maybe she should wait and have children with her future husband when she has more of a support system. Teaching has a major impact on children and not all foster children are capable of responding even with the best parenting. I'm glad you have had a good experience, but there is another side of the coin, and I hate to see her get in over her head. She is doing a great thing by being a teacher. It is certainly her decision whether to proceed or not. It isn't going to hurt her to hear both the pros and cons.


#11

Good morning! Thank you all for your responses. I am going to go ahead and pursue reopening my license at this time. If it is anything like last time I won't get many calls. I will pray daily for God's direction and hopefully I will know when I can say yes to a call. I have been very clear about not being able to take on a child with too many needs because of my schedule. I really have felt called to this for many years and I am tired of my fear stopping me. I know God won't give me anything I cannot handle.
God Bless!


#12

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