After a 6 year hiatus from being foster parents, we are back in the thick of it.
I always knew I wanted to be a foster mom. I don’t remember the first time I realized what “foster care” meant, but surely it must have been from watching Punky Brewster. I can remember begging my mom to become a foster mom because I just knew that we were supposed to be a foster family. Shortly thereafter, my mom and dad divorced, and mom made clear there was no fostering to be done- she was now a single mom of two young kids.
As a teen, I tried to convince her to at least host a Fresh Air kid. No dice.
I moved 1,400 miles away to go to school and met my husband shortly thereafter. We met in Jan, I turned 21 in March, we went on our first date in April, and were married in May.
My poor poor parents.
I will kill my kid if she or he does anything remotely similar.
Right after getting married, and moving to a new town with my newly promoted husband, I began to research foster parenting for real. I vividly remember having a conversation with my husband in the walk-in closet we shared in our first apartment in which I told him I felt called to be a foster parent. I had followed him in there in an effort to trap him and make him listen. He listened. And crushed my dreams by brushing me off with, “maybe in a few years.”
My poor poor husband.
Only two years later, in a neighboring state, my husband’s sister’s kids were removed from her care. Even though I had researched foster care, we were both naive when it came to the laws governing out of home care. The kids were taken the night before my SIL was due in court, so we made plans for next morning to borrow a friend’s car and two car seats. We drove the car the six hour round trip to make it to court in time and then waited two more hours to be told by the caseworker, right before she went in to see the judge, that the kids would be going home. My husband, his mother, her husband and I all yelled, “NO!” I don’t think a caseworker has ever had family that adamant about a child not going home before. Husband and I thought we could bring them home that night. We thought wrong.
Details regarding the case aside, the kids went into foster care in their home state, and husband and I went back home with a renewed vigor to become certified foster parents. We thought our ICPC worker would be thrilled to see such a motivated young couple such as ourselves going above and beyond the kinship requirements for placement. She was not impressed. She was suspicious.
Regardless of her suspicions, the kids were placed with us 3 months later (that was an expedited ICPC for you). Twelve months after that, they went back home, and we were heartbroken. The house was so empty and big. We couldn’t help but foster again.
We continued to do so until we moved the 1,400 miles back to my hometown. Tried to conceive for I don’t know how many cycles. Lost track. Never got a BFP. Not once. Talked about adoption. Talked about IVF. Realized we really have a heart to foster, don’t want to pursue anything else. And we haven’t looked back since.
Oh, and our first placement, our kinship placement?
They are all happy and healthy, living life to its fullest. They are awesome. Thanks for asking.