So … I’ve Been Thinking … About Foster Care and Adoption

I had the opportunity to attend a foster/adoptive parent orientation and informational session recently. It was truly inspirational on so many levels. I met a room full of people who took time out of their busy schedules to come and learn more about foster care, the licensing process and have their many questions answered. I also had the opportunity to witness two social workers who spend a majority of their time answering questions and providing information to those interested in making the leap.

One exceptionally compassionate couple was there to begin the licensing process. The group had so many excellent questions … which, to those of you who know me, led to my own series of questions. In no particular order …

  1. When there is so much good in this world, why does our society seem so overwrought with the “not so good?” We regularly hear about arrests, shootings, child abuse, car accidents, etc. … Why don’t we hear about our amazing teachers who educate and nurture our children? Why don’t we hear about my neighbor who plowed my driveway after the last snow storm? Why don’t we hear about the child who stuck up for his peer that was being bullied? And why don’t we hear about our foster/adoptive/relative caregivers who love our kids in substitute care? (I know, I know … more questions …)
  2. How do you know if fostering/adopting is “right” for you and your family? It is ironic to me that there are many published books to help people decide if they should get a dog or a cat. … What pet is the best fit for their family. … What breed of dog is good with kids. … But there is nothing even remotely resembling this information for individuals who are considering adding to their family in the human variety. Before we started a family I looked … extensively. … So yes, I have more questions. … How do you know if you’re ready to be parent? How many children should we have? What if I mess them up? Can I be a good caregiving parent? Etc. …
  3. What if I don’t know what to do or how to handle a situation with a child that comes up? Well … I have been parenting for a L-O-N-G time and have worked with kids in some capacity for the entirety of my adult life and I STILL DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO!!! Anybody who has worked with, parented, or been in a close relationship with a child has been in this situation. (And yes, I have searched for many a book for “answers” … I still haven’t found such a book). It’s a shame that “instruction manuals” don’t exist for such questions (yes more). … What do I do when my daughter comes home from school crying because kids made a comment about her hair? How do I answer the question, “why is life so hard?” What do I do when my son wants to quit basketball so he can spend more time with his girlfriend? Etc. …
  4. How can I manage more on my plate? OK … so LIFE HAPPENS. The Saturday morning you planned to clean the house is instead spent in urgent care with an ear infection. How come that hugely important work meeting is scheduled on the day the school calls for you to pick up your ill child? … Several question here, but it all comes down to … how many days do you think “I can’t possibly get everything done that needs to be done?” This is a regular thought of mine, and USUALLY it gets done … usually …
  5. Why do we (or maybe just I) question so much?

But this I know for sure … our kids love us and we love them. Even on the very darkest of days they bring us light. Kids want what we want … answers to their questions (even when there are no good answers), attention, regard, to feel safe, and most of all to be loved.

I will have many more questions … What are yours? What are your passions? Do you have any answers?

If you would like more information on our foster care and adoption services, visit growhope.net.

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