Becoming a Foster Parent
I don’t know that if I would have had biological children whether I would have been a foster or adoptive mother. However, I’ve always wanted a large family, so it is completely possible.
Before my husband and I got married, he asked me what would happen if we couldn’t have children. My immediate response was that it didn’t matter to me, because we could always adopt.
About a year into our marriage, we discovered that it would be difficult if not impossible for us to have children. I didn’t want to go through in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination treatments. I had already been through enough disappointment by having a period every month that I couldn’t handle the disappointment of a failed pregnancy attempt. Or the expense of going through fertility treatments and not having a child at the end.
If it wasn’t a sure thing, I didn’t want to do it. The whole process was too disheartening.
As a result, we decided to see if would happen naturally and did nothing to enhance our chances or prevent a pregnancy from happening. In the mean time, I began researching adoption agencies, costs, and other assorted adoption information. The cost of adoption was overwhelming considering we had incurred debt with the purchase and updating of our home. And again, it was not a sure thing. A birth mother had to choose us before we could get a child placed with us.
After about 5 years, I began to research foster care. I already knew I could love a child that I didn’t give birth to, but could I handle the possibility of a child that I loved returning to his or her biological parents? Could I work with the biological family? Could I handle having my life scrutinized by other people? Did I want to go through the lengthy process to become a foster parent? What about the trainings?
How about my husband? How did he feel about raising someone else’s child?
Well, I’m not positive that my husband was completely on board as he is an extremely private person and hated all of the intrusiveness! He also wasn’t thrilled at the idea of working with the biological family. To be honest, I was a little leery of this as well. However, if I could help keep a family together and provide assistance to another parent, I was willing to give it a try.
My husband had also heard horror stories of children cutting all the clothes when the parents were gone and mortified that one of them would burn down the house.
However, my desire to be a mom was all consuming. And being a foster parent guaranteed that I would get a child. No guarantees that we would keep the child, but there would be a child in my home and in my arms. So, he went along with my plan and even gave up smoking while were in training.
Becoming a foster parent was both the easiest and hardest decision I’ve made in life. I was scared we wouldn’t get approved. We wouldn’t be good enough. I was worried when we never got a call once we were approved. Did we do something to tick off the caseworker? Were we supposed to push? Make calls? Question them? We didn’t.
Finally, we received a phone call after being foster parents for probably 3 months. The first situation we didn’t feel would be a good fit for us. We were approved for 6 and under and these girls were teenagers, so after much debating we turned down that opportunity. We were afraid that we would not get any more calls. And we didn’t…for several months.
It was close to a year after we became foster parents before we got our second call. A young boy. However, he ended up going home the day we agreed to take him.
At the time, I was very disappointed, but now I thank God for unanswered prayers.
If either of those situations would have happened, we wouldn’t have the 3 beautiful children we are now blessed with. I still don’t know whether I can work with a biological parent. Our situation never really called for it outside of a handful of phone calls that the caseworker facilitated. I like to think I can, but in this situation I’m glad we never had to.
And guess what. My husband is completely on board with our children and has even been pushing for us to keep our license open once we adopt our youngest next month. But, he still hates the intrusiveness!