What a year 2017 has been! Although, my Doula/ Parenting world was a bit slower than most years, our family life has been a tad faster. In the fall of 2016, our home opened as a Concurrent Home (foster home that is also approved to adopt). We’ve had the joy of caring for and loving on 6 littles since then- some through respite care and others as foster placements. It’s been a year of love, growth, and challenges that we wouldn’t change for a moment. I am looking forward to sharing our foster parent journey with some of you, as I get back into the swing of things next year. I also wanted to quickly share a few things from our journey :)
I know people mean well and are genuinely curious! But there are some questions we were asked A LOT. Some of them kind of got old quickly, others we would quickly be able to predict where the conversation was going and already had our response down. Here are some of the questions/ comments we hear most often;
“I could never be a foster parent. I would get too attached.”
Well then, I think you’d actually make a great foster parent! Children so need attachment. They are always worth the risk. We’ve also been really blessed in that we still have contact with all but one of our former placements. I know people mean well when they say this, but I can’t help but feel like an Evil Ice Queen who’s some how able to avoid attachment. We crumbled when one placement ended quickly. Thankfully our wonderful people held us up, we owned that hard for a bit and it was so worth it!
“Which ones are yours? “
Again, I know people mean well but seriously?! I typically just say “Today- they all are.” I know you’re not trying to single a child out but you are.
“Are you done fostering?”
This is a loaded question. I find it similar to asking someone if they are done having children... kind of personal and not up for conversation unless we initiate it.
“Are you going to adopt Johhny?”or “It’s just so sad children as young as Johnny need to be in foster care.” While Johnny is standing next to me.
Children’s permanency plans have a lot of thought and planning put into them by many people, and often are changing. Frequently, we as foster parents have no idea what a child’s future will hold. Adults don’t casually share their hard with others. Why would it be appropriate to dive into Johnny’s? When you meet a child, ANY CHILD, despite wether they’ve lived a life full of broken or not- rejoice and delight in them! Children are awesome! Their hard is their business, on their terms.
“You’ve actually met their parents?! “
I have... I actually made a priority of it.... we actually speak weekly... and (gasp) they are really nice people!
Not in every situation have we been able to speak weekly, but I’ve never met another parent that I couldn’t connect with and in most cases we were able to speak often. I treasure that connection, the knowledge they share, and witnessing their love for their child is truly beautiful.
Here are our biggest take aways from our year;
We’re stronger than we ever imagined.
Hard is hard, but when it’s the right thing to do putting yourself out there isn’t so scary.
There aren’t just good parents and bad parents. We’re all a bit of both. There are generations of brokenness and hurt. How we come together as a community to support these cycles is everything.
Empathy comes easy.
Loving children who were not biologically ours was not at all a challenge and came quite naturally. Though, I would argue, that when you are meeting a child’s physical and emotional needs, you are impacting that child on a biological level and leaving a biological footprint. Therefore, we have a biological connection ;)
The impact of trauma, missed attachment and attunement have significant developmental implications.
Our village of friends and family is AMAZING!
Foster Parents are amazing people. We are so fortunate to have met a bunch and call them our people.
We have more to offer than we ever would have thought. Our home is TINY, we are far from rich, and we are flawed humans. Though somehow, we still have so much to give. How cool is that?!
If you have any questions about fostering, or supporting fostering families and want to chat- feel free to reach out! I may not know all the answer but can likely find someone who does.
Huron Birth Blog
Our blog will encompass our current happenings, findings, pictures, musings, and guest blog posts on an array of parenting topics.