Have you ever met someone and instantly bonded with them? I felt like that today. My aunt's best friend lives only fifteen minutes away from us here in Florida, and she came over to visit for the first time today. I actually met her for the first time at my aunt's funeral, but I was only four years old and I don't remember that. Today, it was so great to get to talk to her, and hear stories from when she, my mom, and my aunt were younger. I'm excited to have a relationship with her now that we're living in such close proximity, because not only was she a lot of fun to hang out with today, but I feel like I'll hear so many more stories about my aunt when she and my mom get together. I feel like I already bonded with her today, and I know that my mom was so excited to see her again. They kept calling each other sisters and saying how great it was to be living near family; it was really nice to experience that.
Do you do respite, short-term, or long-term care?
"Respite & short-term."
How many children have you taken in over that period of time?
Do you limit your care to a certain age group? If so, what ages do you take in?
"We started off saying no teenagers because of teenager behaviors, but [the] first 2 kids we had were teenagers [and] we could have easily taken them on full time. Then we dropped our age to 10, but emergencies and lack of carers saw us taken on an 11-year-old, so then we dropped our age to 7. We have now said we will stay with the younger children because those really difficult and destructive behaviors are evident or as severe in the older children and we aren't getting any younger."
Have you ever adopted any children? If so, how many?
"[We] have never adopted any children...would have loved to have though!"
Did you have any biological children when you started foster care? If so, how many? How old were they at the time?
"[We] had 3 bio children when we started fostering, but they had all finished school, were off at [university], OR moved out of home before we started."
What were your biggest concerns as you started your foster care journey?
"[We were concerned about] the destructive and difficult behaviors that children without direction often demonstrate."
What is the biggest lesson you learned from being a foster parent?
"That it's not the easiest task I have ever undertaken, and to ignore the little annoyances and celebrate all [of] the successes. The department treats carers with contempt, and communication from them is very rare."
Is there anything you would change about your experience as a foster parent?
"Not a thing!"
Do you have any words of wisdom for future or new foster parents?
"Make sure you are doing it for the right reasons. You have to love children and want to make life better for them. You have to be able to work WITH the department and understand that you will NEVER understand why some decisions are made because they certainly don't seem to be in the best interests of the child. NEVER belittle or run down the bio parents in front of the foster children... their parents are always their parents. Document every conversation with everyone you have concerning the child. [It's] always best to have [a] diary for each child."
Are you a foster parent who is interested in doing an interview for Foster Parent Fridays? Send me a message through my Contact page and I'll give you the details! I'm looking forward to sharing more interviews in the future to showcase the perspectives of other foster parents!
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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