Our Path to Foster Parenting

Our Path to Foster Parenting

Have you ever thought about becoming a foster parent? We didn’t. That wasn’t something that we planned.

Justin and I always wanted to adopt children. We specifically wanted to adopt older kids, not infants, although for the initial discussion those older kids were 3 and 4.

We decided to go for it in Dec of 2015. To adopt older children domestically (in the US) you go through the foster care system.

So we put in our inquiry in January of 2016. The inquiry makes it somewhat official that the process is starting.

During training we both started to think that fostering kids that were not available for adoption is something we would be interested in doing at some point. We were fully licensed in Sept of 2016, by then it felt like the process had taken forever.

We inquired about kids, and had even expanded our ages up to 12 years old, a sibling group of 2 children. We weren’t hearing anything back.

In AR, a child 2 or younger can be in the foster parents’ bedroom in a crib (or bassinet if they are itty bitty), so we decided to leave our twin beds open for an adoptive placement of older kids, and request to foster babies.

Nov 1 of 2016 we got a call for a baby. She was a preemie, and so little.

I have worked with preemies a lot, so this was right up our alley. Once we got a chance to meet her mom, and to realize how much she loved her little girl, and how hard she was working to get her back, we saw how much we loved to foster.

Being there for the kids and helping families stay together is an amazing thing to be a part of.

We still weren’t hearing back from any one about adoption (except the occasional no, but mostly no replies at all) and I had continued to put in inquiries. We learned that our little princess, the one we were head over heels in love with, would be going home at the end of march 2017.

 

 

We decided to go for it, to stop worrying ourselves with finding an adoptive placement. We were going to foster more than just babies.

We are creeping up on a year, with no talks of stopping. Adoption may become possible, but it is no longer the primary thing on our radar.

I don’t ever hope to adopt a foster placement, because I know that means that I am hoping that my sweet child’s family is not going to be able to be together.

To hope I can adopt a foster child, is to hope for my child to experience a tremendous loss. Watching a child sob for her mom, I know I could never hope for that. But if we ever have foster children who do experience that loss, in spite of our hopes that they can be with family, we remain open to the possibility of adoption.

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