fostering as a family–in their own words

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Our family approaches foster care from a whole-family perspective. While we definitely do not share everything with our kids, and we aren’t operating completely democratically, we do consult them, ask them to pray, involve them in whatever ways are appropriate, and listen to them when they have cautions and concerns. We’re all in this thing together, and the kids have to be committed to it as well, or we wouldn’t be very successful as a foster family.

In that vein, I saw a terrific post at The Forgotten Initiative blog about how fostering affects the ‘bio’ children. (Side note: for those of you who go to the same church as I do, check out The Forgotten Initiative – looks familiar, right? They’re doing the same things we’ve done as well!) I wanted to do the same thing here, to involve the kids further in what we’re doing and to give you all a picture of how it can work to foster as a family with children already in the home.

Ben is 10, Maggie is 7, and Brenden is 4. They were all VERY thrilled to be interviewed. We definitely don’t talk about foster care all the time in this home, so a lot of the kids’ answers are just their impressions from having done this for three years rather than actual reasoning that we’ve given them the words for. Here’s the interviews:

What is foster care?

Ben: Are we talking about adoption? Or we just talking about foster? Which one? Well, It’s when you take a child into your home and you keep him there for a little while. And when their house or parents and guardians are ready to take them, when their homes are safe, they go back to their home.

Maggie: It’s taking care of somebody. It means taking care of someone when someone else is sick or can’t take care of them anymore. It means also that you take care of them but not keeping them. Like, Baby D had to come here because his mom couldn’t take care of him. If someone couldn’t take care of their babies or one of their kids, they could give them to someone else to take care so they can fix what they need to fix and then we will give them back when they have everything they need to be fixed fixed.

Brenden: We’re babysitting Baby D because his mama got sick. We’re taking care of someone because their moms might not feel good. But when you’re sick, I don’t have to go to someone else houses.

Why does our family foster?

Ben: Because it’s the right thing to do.

Maggie: Because someone asked us to take care of their babies. Because we wanted to do it because we’re good at fostering babies.

Brenden: Because we thought we could say yes when they could give Baby D to us.

Are you glad that we foster?

Ben: Yes and no. Yes, because it’s really fun when they’re at our house, and no, because they have to go and leave.

Maggie: Yeah, because umm…we have another baby in our family and he’s really fun and funny and he laughs when we tickle him. And I like it when we have babies.

Brenden: Yeah! Just because. I just like being foster care.

Why do you think more people don’t foster?

Ben: Because they don’t have enough room or money to foster.

Maggie: Because they don’t want to foster because they have other children that they need to take care of and they can’t take care of all them at once.

Brenden: Because they work, I think. Because they have other babies.

If someone felt like they should do foster care, what would you say?

Ben: Umm…would they speak to me first?
Umm…I would tell them to do it because it’s fun, and it gives the children an experience of their lifetime.

Maggie: That they should foster because it is good to foster and it is nice to the people who need you to take care of their kids while they can’t do it. It’s also nice when they let you foster their baby even when they don’t want to.

Brenden: Yes, so that they could have more babies.

Do you think that you will foster someday?

Ben: Yes!! Because it’s fun, and it helps children to be happy.

Maggie: I don’t know, but I want to!

Brenden: Yes. I wish I could have one boy baby and two brothers and two sisters.  (editor’s note: in case you’re unfamiliar, that’s the exact make-up of our family)

CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan