Our Foster Care Journey

The other day, I asked my husband, "Are we really doing something that so few young people do or are we just plain crazy?  Is there truly a good reason that no one does this?"

My husband and I became licensed to foster in December 2015 and got our first placement in February 2016.  We are licensed for up to 6 kids, ages 6-17.  Yes, I know, we are crazy.  Our hearts hurt for these "older" kids that have been exposed to neglect, abuse, rape, drugs, addiction and have been the ones to suffer the pain that these tragedies bring.  It's not fair.  It's truly hard to understand why these things even happen, but I do know that God is good and that He can make good come out of such horrific things.

Too often, people think "I wouldn't want the older kids because they're already set in their ways" or "they're so traumatized already that it'd be too difficult" or "they're beyond help."  It makes me sad that so many people think this way, but I think that's why there is such a shortage of foster parents for older kids.

And the truth is..."older kids" is considered anything over 4 years old.  In our current foster journey, we've met some AMAZING foster/adoptive parents and families, but very few that are willing to take these older kids.

To understand WHY we are doing it, I think you need to understand my husband's background.  PLEASE please take the time to read his testimony HERE.  So many people look at us and think, "young, white, privileged couple? You think you know anything about pain and abuse?"  And then they hear his story and find themselves with a theoretical foot in their mouths.  But hear me on this - you don't have to have a testimony like that to simply care for a hurting child.  I have not been through the things that he has, yet God is able to use me and give me a completely different set of gifts/skills.  God can use anyone with a willing, sacrificial heart.

You can also read our fostering announcement HERE.

So on February 1, 2016 a sweet little 11 year-old-boy came to live with us.  He was with us a short 10 days, but he was a delight to have for that time and we still stay in contact with his family.  He comes over to our house occasionally which is so fun!  He was a good introduction into foster care though he was so easy.  He was polite, gentle and fun!

Then on February 26, 2016, three siblings came to live with us!  10-year-old boy, 11-year-old girl and 16-year-old girl.  They are currently still with us and it's been a huge learning process, but such a joy.  It's been the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and I constantly question myself, but the Lord reminds me that it's NOT ABOUT ME and that He alone strengthens me.

I took off 2 days from work when they were placed with us and then about 2 weeks later, I was stressed to the max and wasn't sure how I could continue.  Seriously - we're young, we've never had kids before and we took in three older kids with pretty high needs.  I should have given myself a little more grace!  I hear new mamas constantly talking about how hard just one or two kids is and we took THREE!  Again, we're crazy.  So I decided to take 8 weeks of leave from my job to try and figure things out and get myself down from levels of stress I was experiencing.

Those 8 weeks weren't "relaxing" or a "vacation" like many people asked, but we learned to get into a routine, how chores would work around the house, how to better apply consequences and what makes each of us tick.  And I caught up on some lost sleep!

As I find time to write (with a full-time job as a CPA and being a full-time foster parent), I want to share many lessons that I've learned and what God is teaching me along the way.  You can follow me via Bloglovin, Twitter, Instagram.

Thanks for following along!  Please leave comments!  I blog for the conversations it sparks!


3 comments:

  1. Wow! I have tears from reading your husband's journey and from your foster one. Good for both of you for opening your hearts to older children (I can't believe over 4 is older!) They will all be the better for having had you both in their lives. xx Rox-Anne, Celebratingthislife.ca

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  2. I can't remember how I stumbled on your blog, but I have enjoyed reading it. I have been pregnant six times and have two living children. In March, I lost a baby at 24 weeks gestation in a way that means it would probably be unwise for me to ever get pregnant again. I have been researching foster care and am interested, but my husband is not there yet. Moreover, I feel like I would only be comfortable fostering children younger than our youngest, who is almost 2….which…as you said here, is not really where the need is. From your experience with older foster children, what do you think about safety issues with younger children in the house?

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  3. WOW your hubby testimony is amazing. And your foster story as well. You guys are absolute gifts from God! Our world needs more people like u both!

    www.thesaltlifewife.blogspot.com

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