This is a guest post by our good friend, Rachel Lewis. She is a foster, adoptive and birth mom. After a 5-year battle with secondary infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss, she now has three children in her arms and a foster son in her heart. She is passionate about helping women feel heard and understood when building their family gets a little bit complicated. You can read her wonderful blog at The Lewis Note
. She also offers a free resource, ‘Your BFF Guide to Miscarriage: 5 Ways to Comfort a Friend Through Pregnancy Loss’ here
. Connect with Rachel on Facebook
, or join her private Facebook group Brave Mamas
— a support group for anyone who had to struggle to build their family.
Ever find yourself banging your head against the wall as you try to gain understanding from outsiders? Ever wish someone could put into words everything you’re thinking as a foster parent? Thankfully, this post does just that.
For starters, we’re pretty tight-lipped. And not always by choice.
Foster parents have ALL the responsibility of being a “real” parent (hello 2 am feedings!) without any of the rights. And that includes the right to share our child’s story.
This particular limitation is to protect the privacy of our foster child. Which I absolutely understand. But it also means foster parents bear the brunt of our children’s stories, and have few people we can share them with. Are we freaked out about a visit because we *happen* to know that dad has a history of violent behavior? Probably. But all we can say is, “I’m nervous” and we can’t always share why. Are we dealing with the repercussions of a child who experienced starvation and neglect and are struggling to manage ALL the issues that come with food? Yep. And you might look at us and wonder why we are being so hypervigilant on the issue. Trust me, we wish we could tell you.
The foster care journey is filled with beauty, heartache, excitement, and loss. It carries so many emotions that it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, or as if you’re not making a difference as a care giver. Fortunately, there is hope. On today’s episode of The Honestly Adoption Podcast you’ll discover how true this is…
Jamie Finn knows foster care. As an active foster parent, she consistently cares for multiple children (mostly babies) at a time. She understands fully the ups, the downs, and everything in between when it comes to the emotions you’ll experience. She’s here today to tell you, foster care is worth it. Even when you have to say goodbye, this is worth it. Check out our interview with her now…
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Jamie Finn is the creator and writer behind the wildly popular foster parenting blog, Foster The Family. She is also a speaker and advocate for foster parents and vulnerable children worldwide. You can learn more about her awesome outreach by visiting her blog here or connecting with over Facebook here.
Let’s not candy-coat it. It takes a lot to be a foster parent. It’s completely worth it, but it’s not a walk in the park and certainly not for the faint of heart. That’s precisely the reason I disagreed with a foster care advertisement I saw recently.
I was driving my daughter, and some of her fellow students, to school the other day in our hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana enjoying a nearly perfect spring day. My mind bounced back and forth between all that I had to accomplish in the day and the excitement that I finally felt knowing winter was over. As we drove along the beautiful street, leading straight into the heart of our city, one particular sign, out of the thousands we passed, caught my attention.
We’re big believers in utilizing respite care when you’re a foster or adoptive parent. But, there are a few musts when it comes to choosing the right person to care for your children.
We had to travel down a dangerous dirt road to get to the person’s house. After that, there was an obstacle course to get from the driveway, through the yard, and to the front door. My son was hesitant. “Dad, I’m not staying here!” he proclaimed as we knocked on the front door. Once inside, the challenge to get to her front door seemed like a walk in the park. The house was trashed and in complete disarray.
Over the course of 9 years as foster parents, we had many moments where we felt hopeless. When we fostered teenagers the hopeless feeling intensified because we felt like our words or actions weren’t making a difference. They were, however, and so are yours.
As an 18-year old kid, Tricia Collins did everything in her power to push her new foster parents, Rich and Ruth, away. She smoked, drank, and even engaged in sexual activity, knowing they wouldn’t approve. What she didn’t realize, however, was the depth of their grace and compassion for her. Instead of judging her, criticizing her, or trying to control her, they simply chose to love her.