I am so honored that Whitney asked me to post for her while she travels! I wanted to post about something very near to my heart: foster parenting! There seem to be so many misconceptions about foster parenting and I hear some crazy things from well-meaning people so I wanted to give my two cents. We haven't been doing this long, just a little over a year and a half. Being foster parents has radically changed our lives and we are beyond blessed by all that God has done for us. I've been getting some great questions in response to our Why We Became Foster Parents post so if you're interested go ahead and check that out and ask us anything!
Becoming a foster parent: While you do have to pass a background check and complete an application and interview process, you don't have to be a lot of things that you might think you need to be! Race, ethnic background, and income level are not an issue for foster care. You dont have to be rich, married, a homeowner or live in a huge house and you can be a first- time parent. We were licensed in 90 days and start receiving calls right away! There are so many kids in the system that it doesn't take long. This is awesome for adoption-minded families that may not want to wait months or years for a private agency. As far as costs and services, our kiddo gets free daycare, food assistance, therapy and tons of hand-me-downs. The stipend that you do get paid is, um, well, not much so you can guarantee that no one is signing up for foster care to make the big bucks. Which is a good thing because it means that we're all doing it because we want to.
Attachment: To be honest, my love for BB was pretty shallow at first but it has grown as he's attached to us and we to him. When it comes to foster parenting, you can never hold back your love for these kids. These kids desperately need to know that they are loved whether they're with you for a day, week, year, or forever. We were told by a long- time foster-mom, "You are the adults, you can handle the loss and that is never a reason to withhold love!" Loving just for the sake of loving, loving no matter what, that's true love. I guess that's what we do. What fostering a child has done for me and my heart has been life-changing. Being a foster parent has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I'm taking care of someone's child, loving him as my own, attempting to give him the best childhood possible and showing him that there is a God who loves him. It’s awesome. Simply put.
We are so honored to have gotten many messages from people who have told us they're considering foster care now, too! That is the best news! If you feel a little tugging at your heart strings, please consider becoming a foster parent or donating your time/resources/hand-me-downs to a foster family. It is truly the best gift you can give a child. If you want to know more, find a local agency and start asking questions and feel free to contact us, too!