I’m kicking it off with a little #tbt to talk about why we decided to become foster parents. Because, I get it, it’s maybe a little crazy.
Becoming a foster parent was something that was always in the back of my mind. I don’t know why. I didn’t know any foster parents or foster children. The best I can recall, I was introduced to the concept at around eight years old while watching an episode of Maury after school.
[Thanks to YouTuber Katie Bowers for uploading this].
In particular, I remember seeing a little boy on the show and thinking, “I want to adopt a little boy from foster care when I grow up.”
When I was 26, I realized that I was, in fact, grown up and could actually go about the business of making this a reality. My husband and I had been married for four years. We had never talked about foster parenting. One day, I brought it up in passing. I figured he would immediately tell me I was crazy and that there was no way in hell he would do such a thing. Then that would be it and we would go about our lives.
Instead he said, “Hmmm….maybe…let’s think about it….”
For those who don’t know my husband, this is the most enthusiasm you will EVER see from him when presented with a new idea. The man is a statistician…he’s not incredibly emotive…or impulsive. It once took him (and I am not at all exaggerating) over an hour of internet research and visits to FOUR different Christmas tree lots to choose a Christmas tree. By the time he chose one, I was ready to convert to Judaism and forget the whole thing.
So we did think about it. For FOUR YEARS! During those four years, we read books and blogs and watched videos and listened to podcasts. In addition to allowing time for research, this also allowed me time to establish my career, become financially stable, and become just a bit older. Neither of us had any interest in babies or toddlers, so we focused on children between 8 and 13. Everything we read said that once you’re licensed, they would push you to take children older than your desired range. If we got a teen, I didn’t want to be close enough in age to be their sibling. I figured the poor kid would have enough to deal with without having to deal with a sister-mom. My mother was also diagnosed with breast cancer during this time – so we focused our efforts and emotional energy on her. I am happy to say that she is now cancer-free.
(BTW – As it turns out, no one has ever pushed us to take a child older than our desired age range).
Then, a few months after my mother’s last chemo and after about four years of thinking and reading and talking and talking and talking some more, we finally decided to move forward in earnest. We found a licensing agency near us and chose a date to attend an Orientation Class.
We went into the class with the one ground rule that would carry us through the entire foster parent licensing process: the “Hell No Rule.”
We agreed that, if at any point in the process, one of us said “HELL NO – I don’t want to do this,” we would stop. No questions asked. No judgment.
Even after all that research, the only thing we really knew for sure is that we weren’t sure we could do this.