Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Dedicated to foster care

I have been searching for other blogs of foster parents. So far all the ones I have found are in it to adopt.

Now that's wonderful...A fantastic thing to do. Still, I would like to find a few who were dedicated to doing foster care for its own sake.

It is not a money making venture. If you are lucky, you will be reimbursed at the rate of actual expenses. Personally, I think that it ought to be possible for people who are really good at this to make a living doing it, but that is another post altogether.

So why do we do it?

Because they need us and we can, or rather, we cannot walk away.

So far I have found that people tend to get in for several different reasons: (1) they hope to adopt; (2) They had a commitment to a particular kid. I have heard, "She was spending the night when her mother got arrested" and "we knew that his father was beating him and we kept calling social services" and like me "we just knew him and when his current placement fell through had to take him;" or (3) they knew another foster family and came to realize they could do this too. A very few people have said that they just always knew they wanted to do this.

Those of us in the first two categories stay because we realize we can do this. It is not just that we have a bedroom and enough time. We realize that we are fairly good at dealing with these kids. It came as quite a shock to me that I am good at dealing with passive aggressive adolescents. I actually take a perverse pleasure at my ability to dodge manipulation.

For my family it had a lot to do with the kids being gay. To one extent or another everyone finds foster care tiring. When the kids move out we often say that we would like a couple months off. But then we hear about another gay kid and we step up. If we can take them we don't want them to go to a home where they are merely tolerated.

So why am I not finding more foster parents blogs? Probably because I am not looking hard enough. Maybe because thinking about our kids and about how to care for them really does mean thinking about the particular ways they have been traumatized. It is important to protect everyone's privacy.

So please let me know if you are a foster parent with a blog. I would like to read your thoughts about the journey.


  1. I just found your blog. We are in the first group. Foster to adopt. You can follow along in our journey if you'd like :)

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