First of all I want to say thank you to those of you who asked some questions on my facebook about fostering to give me some ideas of what to talk about!
So here we go, a couple of the questions were similar:
“How does it change your environment having foster kids?”
“I’d love to hear more about how you emotionally prepare your daughter for a new temporary ‘sibling’ and then how you manage her expectations (i.e. this new child will leave the family at some point) and deal with her saying goodbye.”
“Is it a hard adjustment for Gracia when the FK’s come and then go?”
The first time we took Little Dude back to his home, Gracia cried the whole way home. Saying good-bye might not be as emotional for all kids as it is for her, but she’s just an emotional little girl to begin with. And she was very excited when he came back! They’re like most siblings, they have their arguments and times of not sharing, but over all they enjoy playing together.
From the beginning Gracia said she’d rather adopt than foster because adopting is forever. Which is actually what Cameron and I had wanted at first as well, but that just hasn’t happened. She didn’t have as much trouble saying good-bye to Big Sis and Little Bro, but they never stayed nearly as long as Little Dude and from the beginning we knew that they would be with us just a short time.
As far as preparing her, each time (other than taking Big Sis and Little Bro for respite twice) it was a sudden phone call and they needed a place that night, so we didn’t have much time to do any preparing. We always told her we were getting a kid(s) and asked her opinion.
“I was wondering how hard it is for the Foster child to visit with his family member, then come back to your home. Or is visiting allowed by the family member while the child is in your custody?”
Often when we tell people Little Dude is going for a visit they look at us and ask, “Is that a good thing?” or “Does he like the visits?”
He LOVES his visits. If he has a visit in the evening and I tell him that morning he asks me all day long when his visit is. During our fostering classes someone asked what they should do if a child didn’t want to visit their family, and the teachers said in all their experience they couldn’t think of a time that happened. Kids love their families and want to be with them.
All situations are different though. With some cases visits are only supervised at the office or in public places. When cases are moving along they might get unsupervised visits in public (ie library, park, restaurants). Then there’s also semi-supervised visits and eventually home visits and overnight visits happen until the final stage of a trial visit. Of course though all cases are handled individual, so it doesn’t always look the same.
There’s also cases where the parents just don’t show up for visits, or where the parents’ rights are terminated and the plan moves to adoption.
If you have any questions for me, I’d love to hear them and answer as good as I can. You can ask about fostering, frugality, missions or anything else that comes to mind!
You may also like:
- Why We’re Foster Parents
- 6 Ways Fostering Helped Our Parenting
- Big List of Thank Yous
- 6 Ways to Help Foster Families
- November is National Adoption Month
- How Fostering is Changing Us