I don’t remember when I first thought about becoming a Foster Parent. I think it was probably about four years ago now. I didn’t have an “ah-ha” moment or have the thought of “this is something I have to do” that some people get. For me, it was the feeling like something was missing – or someone. I always saw myself with three children and after having two I knew I wanted at least one more.
When I started looking into my options with foster care I did not have a lot of knowledge of the Foster Care system. Some of my relatives have been foster parents and my parents looked into it when I was little (they went to a few meetings but decided it wasn’t a fit for our family at the time), so I wasn’t new to the idea of Foster Parenting. I did some research online and read some stories of children that had gone through foster care and I wanted to look more into it. My husband (who I am no longer with) was not on board so it stopped there. I did not push the idea as he was sure from the first time I mentioned it that it wasn’t something he wanted to get involved in. Fast forward to now and I am able to look into it again on my own.
So why now?
I still feel like my family is not complete, I feel as though I am still meant to care for more children. It just seems natural for me to bring more children into my home who need a space to grow. It came back into my mind about three months ago and was a persistent thought. I can’t remember exactly what brought it back, but once it was in my mind, it was there! Do you know when there is one thing in the back of your mind that everything seems to remind you of? That was happening to me. Everything reminded me of Foster Parenting, or the system, or something related. In May I contacted the local Children’s Aid Society (CAS) for more information. After speaking with them I decided to put off the meeting in my home until I was sure this was something I wanted to pursue. I didn’t want to waste their time if I decided it wasn’t going to work for us.
I thought about it a lot and what it would mean for our family. One thing that I thought about was the fact that I have had every other weekend to myself since splitting with my husband. Although it is great to be able to go to the grocery store without the children in tow, I really would be fine with no weekends on my own. I didn’t have weekends to myself a year ago, and I could go right back to that with no worries. Another thing I had to consider was where new little ones would sleep. We only have three bedrooms, which are all in use right now. I decided bunk beds in each children’s room would cover us to accept either a boy or a girl at any time. When I pitched the idea of bunk beds to the kids, they were very excited! (who knew bunk beds were so exciting?! I had one growing up and couldn’t wait to get my own “normal” bed!). That being said it also made me think more about age ranges we could accept into our home and issues that may arise from sharing rooms. Finally, a few weeks ago I decided it was time to stop just thinking about it and act on it and figure out the answers to my questions while going through the application and training stages, it just feels like it is something I am meant to do. But, we will see if CAS agrees and if I feel the same once attending training classes.
I had the meeting, I filled out the application and now I wait for the next step.
If you are a Foster Parent, what was your reason for looking into it? Are you like me and it just felt like a natural thing to do, or was there something more?