Monday, January 21, 2008

A Lesson Learned

Renee and Janice posed a question; how did you get into foster care? Since I'm wordy and not sure I've ever given our foster care background in the blog, I'd figured I'd do an entry about it.

We had thought of fostering for a while as both a good thing to do and to possibly adopt a child. When we didn't get pregnant right away, we thought we should look into it. Also, the foster care system is HIGHLY advertised in the area we live in. You can't go anywhere without seeing an ad for it. And many people we've met around here have adopted through the foster care system or are related to someone that has. So we decided, what the hell.

We also thought it would be better to do before we had our own children in the house. I think this is key. I don't recommend anyone fostering that already has children in the home especially younger children. With foster children, you never know who you're bringing into the house. The foster children themselves can have serious issues and you're probably not going to know about them until they're living with you. Also, there is basically zero confidentiality. Something we weren't totally aware of when we started. So you are also letting biological parents that have various issues and may look at you as "stealing their children" know where you live.

Anywho, we originally said we'd take a child under 12 months. We did say we would consider a young sibling pair since we know how hard it can be to place siblings. I guess they took that and ran with it. We weren't even licensed when we got a call about the boys. Mary had just left for work when she called me at 8 a.m. I thought something was probably wrong when I saw her calling so soon after leaving the house. She said she got a call about a sibling pair - C1 and C2. I thought she was joking, I said, "we're not even licensed yet". I mean, I knew we had completed the training and the home study but we hadn't actually gotten the go ahead along with the handy dandy paper license. The decision time has to be quick - we said yes. We were equipped with a crib since we had said we'd take a child under 12 months. We were told C2 slept in a crib so I went out to get C1 a bed and some toys and stuff for 2 & 3 yr olds. They licensed us at 12:00 p.m. and then the boys arrived at 4:00 p.m. We also agreed for their great-grandmother (who they were living with previously) to bring them to our home. This was a huge mistake! We also learned later that it's totally unheard of and the caseworker should have never even asked us to do this. Nonetheless, our saga or lesson in foster care or whatever you may call it continues. I often say I wish we had never done it but then we really do love the boys and we've learned SO much about ourselves as parents and parenting in general. We've basically had a really crazy crash course in parenting.

*And yes, we plan on finding out the baby's gender - that will happen at the 20 week ultrasound*

3 comments:

Renee and Janice said...

Wow! So, I know that the older sibling is going to go somewhere else, right? What about the younger one? I am a social worker and always thought about fostering kids, but always wondered what it would be like if we had our own first. Thanks so much for the input and the honesty :)
PS, can't wait to find out at your 20 week appt too :)

Candice said...

I will say - it can work out for some. We were worried when our neighbor was starting the process to foster to adopt. They already have a 5 year old (bio son). However, they got a perfect placement - TPR had already occured when she was placed with them so there are no visits and the bio parents have no rights so confidentiality isn't an issue. She's also mentally sound so no therapy or issues surrounding that. They've had more problems with their own son and the situation but I think that's expected. Afterall, he's been the only child for 5 years and suddenly he has a 4 year old sister.

And I'm sure each state varies and as a social worker, you might have more of an in to get a placement that fits your home.

We're still willing to adopt the younger sibling. However, they seem deadset on keeping them together so we doubt it's going to happen. It's annoying because I feel if we said, we'd adopt C1 (the problematic one), they'd say sure and immediately move C2. It's a very strange system.

Candice said...

I will say - it can work out for some. We were worried when our neighbor was starting the process to foster to adopt. They already have a 5 year old (bio son). However, they got a perfect placement - TPR had already occured when she was placed with them so there are no visits and the bio parents have no rights so confidentiality isn't an issue. She's also mentally sound so no therapy or issues surrounding that. They've had more problems with their own son and the situation but I think that's expected. Afterall, he's been the only child for 5 years and suddenly he has a 4 year old sister.

And I'm sure each state varies and as a social worker, you might have more of an in to get a placement that fits your home.

We're still willing to adopt the younger sibling. However, they seem deadset on keeping them together so we doubt it's going to happen. It's annoying because I feel if we said, we'd adopt C1 (the problematic one), they'd say sure and immediately move C2. It's a very strange system.