I have had several request from friends to start blogging about our journey as we prepare to become foster parents. Since we are now done with our classes and are currently in the process of our home study I decided that now is as good as time as any to begin. So for those of you who have asked...here we go.
It's hard to even know where to begin, so I will start with the most asked questions throughout this process.
Why? This one is easy, I fell in love with population of people about 7 years ago when I first began grad school and have been working with foster children ever since. I have felt that this is something that God has wanted me to do for a while and everywhere I go things point towards it. I am not sure if any of you saw Freedom Writers where the teacher talks about being blessed with a burden, well this is us. We are blessed with a burden and know that we are suppose to do our part. We want to help families become whole again and give children the opportunity to grow and flourish into beautiful young people.
Don't you want your own children? Yes, no, maybe so. I can't really answer this right now. We sway back and forth on it almost daily.
What does your family think? We are both pretty lucky and for the most part we have a very supportive family who is praying for us, helping us along the process and eager to be apart. However as with all families we do have some who are concerned and wonder why we would bring other peoples children into our home when we could have our own or they are worried about the trouble it may cause. I understand their concerns, but that's all they are, their concerns not ours. We are not nieve, but we aren't scared either.
Won't you get upset when they leave? Yes, of course I will. I think if you don't then you aren't doing it correctly. We do have to remember that it's our goal that families become whole again and we must hope that every family can be restored! People can change. It will be hard and I am sure their will be tears. Plus we are open to the idea that we may adopt, we aren't sure, we just aren't closing that door ever!
Why Buckner? In the several years I have worked within the foster care system I have never been less than impressed with Buckner. Their staff, policies, and love for children is evident in everything they do. Plus, I have some personal connections with Buckner along with there being a Buckner campus in our home town which will make traveling home to visit people a little easier.
And last, what age group? As of know we are thinking birth to 8th grade. We struggled with this for a long time but decided this was best for us at this time. We were told in class there is a high need for 0-3 families (lots of families want children already potty trained) so we are praying through and discussing me staying at home and focusing on the infants.
So what's the process from here...I will not bore you with the many many things we have had to do but I will tell you were are almost done. Buckner's policy is that you have to be married for two years before they can place a child with you, so for us this means we have 5 months to get ready...like you can ever be ready...
So to our friends and family who have supported us so far, we thank you. We are looking forward to this and are honestly we are a little scared too. There will be more responsibility on our end and we also realize it means we may lose some friends, see less of some family and friends, and have to make some tough choices. But we are thrilled to have most of you guys along for the journey. We ask for your continued support, listening ear, and at times a babysitter (haha).