Wanting to get back into foster care

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anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Wanting to get back into foster care
Wed, 08-08-2012 - 11:39pm

Hi ladies.  I'm new to this part of the site, I'm usually reading or posting on TTC.  My husband and I are approved foster care parents through DHHR.  Last summer we took in two different kids, one was a 4 year old and the other was 2 1/2.  Each time they only stayed the weekend and went back to their mothers.  Although we had fun while they were here, it was so much harder than we thought it was going to be.  My husband and I felt a little sadness when they left, we also felt a huge relief.  Did any of you feel like that in the beginning?  Both times I cried everytime I went into the bathroom, wondering what I got myself into.  I didn't let them see it and even the 4 year old asked if she could stay with us forever, so to them we were very happy.  When does it stop feeling like you're babysitting and feel more like your child and that you're a family or does it ever feel like that?  I think I could've grown attached to the 2 1/2 year old, but in the moment I was scared to death and wanted DHHR to call and say he was going back to his mother.  My husband and I would love to have a family of our own, but I don't ever want to take a child in or even have a child of my own and regret it.  As of right now we're only on the adoption wait list with DHHR, but I've been talking to another agency that helps place foster children.  They get their kids through DHHR, they help when DHHR is overloaded or too busy to place a child.  They actually even do more to help you and are there 24/7 with support.  So, we've been thinking about getting back into it and taking in more kids in hopes to adopt one of them.  The guy through this agency said every family he's worked with that has wanted to adopt, has been able to.  I'm just afraid of getting a child for a long period of time and crying every day over it, I just want to know it gets easier having these kids in your life.  Thanks for any support you can give me.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-05-2006
Mon, 08-13-2012 - 9:49pm

I have not been here is probably 2 years but I was curious what was currently going on.  I work in foster care and am also a foster parent.  Foster care is tough.  We see these kids on the worst days of their lives and give them a soft place to land.  It does feel like baby sitting and you have to protect that part of your heart that is most vulnerable. ...but...good things do come out of it.  I have fostered a total of 17 children.  Our first placement will soon be adopted.  The others stayed between 3 hours and 6 weeks.  I think the key to fostering is doing it for the kids first and adoption second.  My heart still breaks for one little girl that I would have called my own, but I know that for a short time I was there when she needed me.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 9:38am
(((hugs))) Is it common for foster families only to have children staying on the weekends like that?

It sounds like the fostering experience is really hard on you. A friend of mine just recently became a foster parent. At first, she was hoping that fostering would lead to adoption, but she's managed to adjust the way she thinks and now views it as helping kids in the moment who need it the most. Obviously, she'd love for it to lead to adoption, but, since the goal of fostering is usually to try to reunite the family at some point, she tries not to look too far ahead.

If the fostering experience is too hard on you, have you considered just working with an adoption agency instead? Fostering isn't for everyone. I don't think it's something I would be able to handle emotionally.