Friday, May 3, 2013

{Forever Friday} Making The Decision To Foster

Did you miss having a {forever Friday} post last week? Yeah, me too. Things have been crazy here and getting the post up last week didn't work out. SO here we are a week later and ready to get to know another amazing guest blogger sharing their forever family story!
 
Today's guest post is from my amazing friend Tricia who I have known for years.  She and her husband, Dustin, have two adorable boys and one more on the way. Is this not the cutest gender announcement picture ever?! I am excited to have her share her story on how they became foster parents as well as what they've learned along the way.
 
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We became licensed foster care parents in December of 2011. Our decision to do so just kind of hit us one day when we were discussing children and when we wanted to expand our family. We have a 5 year old bio son that we love and adore, but he's been a handful since birth. Right now he's being tested in school to see if he needs additional help. He as anxiety and at times shows symptoms of OCD and ADHD, although he has not been diagnosed with these. ANYWAY, we were really in no rush to add to the family. We did however, feel that there was a growing gap. Our next child would be many years younger than our oldest. My husbands aunt did foster care for many years and adopted 3 children through it. We decided to try it out. We signed up for the classes and I was hooked. We had an excellent teacher and I knew this is what we needed to be doing.

Our first placement came in February of last year. A sweet 7 week old baby boy. The caseworker said, "I hope you're ready to adopt, because that's the way the case is looking". Never believe anything the caseworker says, they can't predict how things will end. She was right in one regard, he was adopted, but not by us by his paternal grandparents. They're amazing people and I have no doubts that they will and are providing a loving home to raise him in. They invited me to the adoption and it was such a wonderful experience.

Our second placement was another little boy, 17 months at the time. The first call for him said they needed just a super temporary placement. We almost said no, but I'm glad we didn't because he's still with us today and we will soon be adopting him.

Foster care is CRAZY! There's so many emotional ups and downs. Caseworkers change ALL the time. Some are better than others. Luckily we're working with one now that is amazing. The system is flawed in many areas, but overall it's a great experience. I have no doubts that the little boy joining our family is meant to be with us. I feel so sad for his parents, I know they're suffering. It makes me feel almost guilty because we're taking their son away, although that was really never the intention. I had high hopes for them. In the beginning they were really trying hard and I thought they'd get him back. Well, I guess they did but only for a little over a month. He's now back with us and will be with us forever. His life will be better. He will be raised without having to move from home to home. He won't remember the unpredictable behavior of his mother when she was using drugs or struggling with rehab. He won't have to miss his dad as he's put in jail for the tenth time. He'll now have a stable home with an older brother and a younger brother on the way. A family that will love him and care for him as if he was born into it. Yet, I know there will come a point when he will wonder where his birth parents are. What his life might have been like had he stayed with them. He may even get sad and wonder why? I just hope that in those instances I can hug him and let him know that his birth parents did love him. They wanted him, but weren't able to care for him. He was never to blame for what happened. He's one of the special ones. The ones that get to be loved by more than one set of parents.

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