People always ask for advice when they are at the beginning of their foster care journey. They want to know what to expect from people who have been through it already. I saw a post on one of the Facebook pages that I'm on today that asked for some advice as the woman was going through the final stage of becoming a licensed foster parent.
If you're prepared to take in a child, you need to be prepared for pretty much anything. Have you ever watched the reality show "Big Brother" before? That's one of my favorite shows, and their motto is "expect the unexpected." That's exactly the kind of mindset you need to be in when becoming a foster family.
The foster children who enter your life may have faced struggles in the past that left them angry, or depressed, or lashing out in some way. Kids may want you to love them and hug them, to just let them know that you're there for them. Or maybe kids will want you to stay at a distance because they don't quite trust adults.
Some kids will want to start calling you 'Mom' or 'Dad' right away, but others may remain on a first name basis with you throughout their entire stay in foster care. One child may be afraid to speak up when they need something, and will need you to be their voice for a while, but another child may not be afraid to speak their mind and say exactly what they need. It all depends on the child and the situation that you're dealing with.
You're going to have caseworkers with whom you love working, and you might have the occasional caseworker who annoys you to no end. Sometimes you won't have any problems with working out a visitation schedule, and other times it will be like pulling teeth to get someone to listen to what you have to say. You can't be afraid to speak up for the needs of you and your family, but you have to remember to be respectful to all parties involved.
Becoming a foster parent is a huge decision and one that will completely change your life. Whether or not you have biological children when embarking on this journey, you need to be prepared for just about anything life can throw at you; if you have biological children, you need to prepare them as well. There will be joy and laughter, and there will also be heartbreak and tears. It's all part of the amazing adventure that foster care will take you on, and it will all be completely worth it in the end.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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