This is such a huge topic. As such I haven’t wanted to touch on it yet even though it has swallowed so much of my life in the past few years. I’m going to begin here with a shorter post, and maybe that will help to open the floodgates of all this has been in our lives of late.
Foster to Adopt is NOT a Real Thing
That is where this conversation has to, almost necessarily, begin. Foster care is about giving a child a safe environment while their parents and social workers work toward reunifying them with their parents. Your job, as foster-care providers, is to care well for and love these children who have been uprooted. Do not loose sight of the fact that everyone (including you) has the singular goal in mind of reuniting these children with their families. No matter how broken the children or their family may seem.
I became a foster parent in order to Adopt.
My story is very long and you will be able to read it in several places as I get all the many pieces down eventually.
I don’t regret going into this with a confused perspective on the foster care system. If I had it to do over, I absolutely would. But, I want future foster parents to know that if you are wanting to Adopt this is the messy way to do it. You will absolutely have your heart broken by a child leaving your care. If you care for them well that will happen. And it is Totally Worth It!
Our last foster placement ended in adoption.
My foster daughter was brought to our home after her discharge from the hospital at birth. She is now nearly 2 years old, and we adopted her at 18 months. This was still way messier than a standard adoption because there are way more factors (like 6 different social workers for example) that come into play. Yet, we still ended up with what we went into this for. An addition to our family.
Things to Think On
There is a lot of info out there about foster care and adoption resources and most of it left me confused. Being a foster parent isn’t for everyone. Neither is being a parent. It’s a calling. And if you feel yourself being called to it for any reason, even adoption, please do it. If you are thinking this is something you can and should do because it’s the “right thing” then think again. I know some people see calling that way, as a social obligation. There is a lot of wrong that happens through this system and you will have to witness innocent lives torn apart again and again. What it takes is a self sacrificial love for those that aren’t even yours (children and parents) and that’s not something you just do on your own. Embrace it as a calling from God and give children who need it a safe home, or find a different “right thing” to do.
Foster vs. Adoption
It’s an interesting dichotomy to me, the world these two systems exist in. It’s like the most convoluted Venn diagram figuring out all the ways they are similar and different. I cannot begin to imagine why we needed to come to adoption through foster care, but we did. Most of how this happened and why it happened still doesn’t make sense to me, and maybe it won’t. I’m glad to have the family I have through the paths we had to walk to get here because it has bonded us into the family we needed to be. God has taken something broken and made something beautiful.