"What's It Like To Be A Foster Parent?"

"What's It Like To Be A Foster Parent?"

What's it like to be a foster parent? Love makes a family.

"What's it like to be a foster parent?"

I get asked this often.  I love the question because it shows genuine interest and I find that most people are curious about foster care and many even share that they  are considering becoming a foster parent in the future.  


When we began to explore expanding our family a few years ago, our first thought was adoption.  We figured if we went through a community agency like Family Services that there would be a huge need for infant adoption.  We were wrong.  Almost everywhere we checked the wait lists were around 2 years long.  Our goal was to offer a child a home who really needed one and with those long wait lists we decided that infant adoption probably wasn’t where God was leading us.


We never really talked about foster care until one night on a date.  If I’m honest, I wasn’t even sure about mentioning it to my husband.  But I did.  And he agreed it was something we should explore.


There are SO MANY options when it comes to foster care.  You can choose your county agency, private agencies and in our state even other county agencies.  After a lot of prayer and referral we decided to get licensed by a smaller county that neighbors ours.  Our agency’s process entailed going through 6 lengthy workbooks together and then meeting with our licensing worker after each one.  We also filled out mountains of paperwork, completed a fire inspection, health checks, finger prints and more.


Finally, in December of 2018 we were licensed.  And we waited.  On January 8th we got a call that two little boys needed a home.  We prayed and cried through the fear, but knew it was our time to say yes.  So we did!  We quickly fell into life as a family of 4, but unexpectedly after two months the boys went home when, to the shock of all involved, a judge ruled they should not have been removed from their home.  Our entire family was reeling.  It all happened so fast and was so unexpected as we had been told to prepare to have them for quite a while.  My older son cried every night for weeks missing his foster brother.  


Fast forward to July.  Less than 3 weeks before moving into our new home and one day after we closed on our new home I got another call.  The boys were taken back into DSS custody.  Were we available to take them?  We had always committed that we would welcome the boys back into our home as long as we had not accepted another placement.  God’s timing is sometimes outrageous for us, but it’s also perfect! I said yes without even calling my husband and within a few hours they were a part of our family again.


But what’s it really LIKE you wonder?


Every experience is different, but ours is truly beautiful.  Our boys fit into our family so perfectly and our bio kids adore them.  That said, it’s also really hard.  It’s hard to figure out how to love children that you’ve never met, but want to make sure feel at home.  It’s also hard to split love and attention and make sure everyone’s needs are being met.  There are appointments and visits with birth parents and so many complicated emotions.  The hardest part for me though is waiting for court dates.  After what happened last time, I get so incredibly nervous as court approaches.  I pray and remind myself that God’s plans are perfect even if they aren’t my plans, but the fear is still there.  


But it’s worth it.  It’s so worth it.  God calls us to love and care for the least of these and it brings me so much joy to watch my children learn to give more of themselves and their stuff.  It makes my heart sing to hear the laughter and see the smiles. I love the snuggles and the goodnight kisses and the questions.  I don’t think God wants us to be comfortable for very long and this season constantly reminds me of the fact that I need Him every single second.


No matter what happens, I’m so glad we said yes and we’ll say it again.