I got another phone call today that another family are filling in their application to become foster parents. It is absolutely something that we pray for. That people will see the need in our community to ‘be’ a family. I wish it weren’t needed. One day I would like to see us all not needed. The sad reality is though, there are more children coming in to care now then there were even just a few years ago.
The need is for healthy homes to Step In. Healthy homes aren’t perfect homes. They are allowed to have arguments. They can be a little messy. They can be with parents who burn the dinner or forget to pick up the milk. Just like healthy kids still get colds, healthy families don’t need to run like a 1950’s housewife commercial, but they encourage, build up, meet needs and have unconditional love.
With on average 3 children coming into care every day, and many foster homes at capacity, it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY for those who have been thinking about becoming foster parents to take the FIRST STEP.
I am so thankful that my lovely friend has let me share the start of her journey. I’ve been praying for this family for many years. They have had such heartache and been incredible faithful throughout. I am excited for them and I wish them all the best for the process and will be reminding them that we are here to support them now, in a year and perhaps in another 5 as their family grows.
You have very recently put in an enquiry for more information to become a foster parent. Can you tell us a little about what has led you to this point?
The first time the idea of fostering popped into my head was when I realised the future we had in mind wasn’t going to be our reality. We hope for a large family but have struggled with secondary infertility. Now we are at the point with our own children being in school and we had to think about what the next few years will look like for us as a family.
With such a strong desire to spend my days loving children and becoming aware of the need for a loving space for children we prayerfully decided to apply to become foster parents.
Often it is a mother’s heart to reach out and want to provide care for vulnerable kids. How did you come to this decision as a couple?
It happened slowly. When I first broached the topic of fostering with my husband it was an idea for the far-off future and in my mind, it was a way to grow our family. Over time I Became more aware that fostering is being a family, rather than a way to grow our family. When I was sure I was 100% in, I had a chat with my husband to let him know what I was feeling and ask him to seriously consider it. It took a couple of months but then he came to me and said yes, he was on board. We started the application process the next day.
What concerns do you have for your ‘homegrown kids’ in opening your home to foster children? Do you have ideas on how to support them?
I worry about bursting that bubble of innocence that children growing up in a safe, sheltered space have. We talk a lot about what it means to be followers of Jesus, about being compassionate and about what love is. I hope our communication is enough to navigate through some of the difficult situations they may come to hear about.
It is hard to say that you are ‘excited’ about welcoming kids into your home that are in care because they have already lost so much, but what is it that you are looking forward to and what are you worried about?
I am looking forward to being able to spread this love that comes out through practical support. Days spent feeding, changing, rocking, reading to children. I look forward to helping children know how precious they are. I’m worried about how we will be able to support children who have gone through some very traumatic experiences or those who just want to be back home with their parents. I’m worried about how our family will deal with children leaving our care.
From one ‘veteran’ foster carer to someone just starting out, my suggestion for you is to find those who will support you and walk with you through this crazy journey. What has family and friends reaction been so far?
We are so blessed with an amazing support system. We haven’t shared this decision with everyone, but we haven’t hidden it either. We have had mostly positive reactions from friends, however some of our closest friends just wanted to check in with us about our motivation and when they understood, they were very supportive. We haven’t told our parents yet. Mine will be happy and content. We will have support from my in-laws regardless, but I don’t think they will be as positive towards the decision.