People talk about foster parenting as being a lot of things it isn't.
Foster Adoption is very misunderstood: I do not want to foster because I do not want older kids/kids of a different race, it costs too much, foster kids are damaged, I only want to adopt, I want a baby, I will not be able to let them go, I am too old, I am single… the questions go on and on. Two years ago, when my husband and I started our journey to adoption, we had a lot of the same questions and fears as everyone else. Since then we have learned a lot and wish to share our experiences with you so that you may also meet the wonderful children that need your help through fostering and adoption.
Our first bit of advice is to find an adoption support group in your area today. The help you will find there is immeasurable. You will find experts who can answer your questions about private, international, and foster adoption. We originally went to a state-run facility to seek information on adopting through the foster system. We both left very empty hearted and with a feeling of dread. We received no helpful information and felt very unsure that we would ever be able to adopt.
A couple of weeks later we found out about an adoption support group at our local church. Our first meeting changed our lives forever. Everyone was very friendly, very knowledgeable, and very willing to share their personal experiences with us. We left full of hope and ready to pursue this journey once more. At the meeting, we learned about a faith-based organization that (among many things) helps you obtain your foster license. We immediately contacted them and signed up to take our MAPP (Model Approach to Partnership and Parenting) classes.
Going into the classes, we made a strict decision to adopt only. Our fear, like everyone else, was that fostering would be way too hard. By the end of our classes, we decided fostering was something we could and wanted to do. We learned that you are never too old to love a child. A single parent can support a child in need just as easily. You know in your heart that you are there to help a family in need, and when the time comes, you will be able to let go. There are so many newborn babies in the foster care system it makes me cry. Adoption my not always be the outcome, but when the time is right you will always have a chance to adopt. Kids are survivors and can always be saved. There is no cost at all to foster; all you need is an open ear. You are able to be selective of the race, sex, and age of the children you wish to foster although ALL children will grab hold of your heart and change your life forever by letting you know what a difference you made in their lives by being there when they really needed someone.