Friends, family and acquaintances are curious to know how things are going in our home. I often hear questions or statements, such as:
I want to adopt children too.
How long will they stay?
How do you like having a teenager in your home?
How is Big Boy?
Don’t you get attached?
It takes a special person to foster parent.
Let’s start with 1 and 2!
1. I want to adopt children too.
Being a foster parent does not mean we are adopting children. A foster home is a safe haven for children to enter when their birth home is deemed inappropriate, whether that be due to neglect or abuse. The parents have to complete a detailed process in order to receive their children back to their home. If they complete this process successfully then the children will leave our home and return to their birth family.
Some people realize this but still look to foster parenting as a means of adoption because some families cannot complete the steps successfully, thus allowing them the opportunity to adopt.
This is not our stance. We want to support the family and the child. We want what is best for the child and also to see the entire family come to know Jesus through having been connected to our home.
However, all that said, if we were approached to adopt a child in our care, we will very likely say: YES. But that is not our reasoning for becoming foster parents. Does my heart secretly hope at times? I would be lying to say “no”. My mind can put together a widescreen motion picture of how beautiful our family would be with big boy and TD, growing up through the years. But then the surround sound halts (screech!) and I am reminded that I am a foster parent. I will love them just as I would my own, but this is not about us. This is about them. If their family is able to bring them home and care for them properly, then I want the child to experience that return.
2. How long will they stay?
Each child has a different amount of time with us.
Regarding Big Boy: In February, we will find out more information regarding big boy’s time with us. Every three months, the foster child’s parents are evaluated in regards to their progress. The referee (or judge) then determines if the child should remain in foster care. To all of you who have met him personally – I know….it is hard to imagine him not being in our world. He kind of has that effect on everyone around him. It is hard to imagine my world without him….but, it is important for us to remember that he has another world that he knows much better than our own… And should he return to it, he will be truly happy. It is our loss and our sadness. But, his birth home is his dream come true. Every foster child’s birth home is their dream come true.
Regarding TD: TD can stay with us however long she chooses. Without relaying all of her story on the wide world of internet, I will just say that she is welcome to stay with us as long as she wants to, and there may be a possibility of her staying with us permanently – which would be a complete joy to us. She has quickly entered our home and hearts…I will expound on this more when I answer question 3!