Something I’m regularly asked is: “How did you decide to become a foster parent?” Some people are curious, some are interested in fostering themselves, and others just couldn’t fathom bringing children that were not born to them into their home.
The answer to this question is not cut and dry. Like many foster parents, there were many reasons that encouraged us to embark on this wild journey, so many that it can’t be quickly explained in the middle of the cereal aisle at the grocery store. I’m asked so frequently (and recently have been asked to formally speak to interested families through a foster agency) that I’ve decided it may be easier to write down my thoughts and refer people to this post.
Ultimately, the decision to foster and/or adopt children is usually a multi-step process, one that involves a lot of “back-and-forth” from all parties involved. That being said, here are three “tips” (for lack of a better word) we have learned through the experience.
1. It doesn’t have to be your partner’s idea. Yes, at the end of the day, you will need to be on the same page. But, initially, it usually will be one person who shares this seemingly crazy idea, and that is OKAY. I am a firm believer that the success of a marriage/partnership doesn’t come from shared passions. Many times, an individual’s passion will eventually lead your partner to the same convictions. Be open. Share your heart.
2. Its not either/or. We had 8 foster children before we were expecting our first biological child and many people assumed that we were not able to conceive naturally and we were fostering in order to eventually adopt. Fostering or adopting doesn’t have to be in lieu of having biological kids. In fact, we welcomed our current foster son into our lives when our biological son was only two and a half months old. You do not have to plan your entire family before signing up to adopt or foster.
3. Its not everyone’s dream. Its really hard not to question why everyone else isn’t doing something that you feel very strongly about. Especially when it is something that is this important and in such dire need. The truth is that, more often than not, people will tell you what a terrible mistake you are making. Just be grateful that God has given you this story to live and enjoy every second.
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent and would like more information or have other questions, please let me know. 🙂 I’d be more than happy to help in anyway I can.