Life as a Writer, Disney World Cast Member, and
Big Sister through Foster Care & Adoption
Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
Have you ever taken a nap and then woken up in a daze? Like you're not even sure if it's the same day anymore, because you have no idea how long you've been asleep? That was my night tonight... I was completely exhausted and figured I could fall asleep for an hour while everyone else ate dinner (I just wasn't hungry at all), but instead I slept for two and a half hours and then woke up unaware if it was even Friday still. Luckily, it was still Friday (only 8:30pm at that), and I woke up in time to say good-night to all of my siblings.
So for tonight's Foster Parent Friday interview, we're hearing from Angie Brown in the UK. I know that I've featured interviews from foster parents in the United States, and from Australia, but I don't know if I've featured any parents living in the UK. It's always nice to hear from people all over the world and see how experiences differ from person to person and country to country.
How long have you been a foster parent?
"I have been a foster carer for 3 years 10 months."
Do you do respite, short-term, or long-term care?
"I have done short-term, respite, and long-term."
How many children have you taken in over that period of time?
"I have fostered 5 children."
Do you limit your care to a certain age group? If so, what ages do you take in?
"I do limit my care to a certain age range, [to] teenagers who are difficult to place."
Have you ever adopted any children? If so, how many?
"I have never adopted any children."
Did you have any biological children when you started foster care? If so, how many? How old were they at the time?
"Yes I had one biological child, [age] 26 (living independently)."
What were your biggest concerns as you started your foster care journey?
"My biggest concern at the start of my foster caring journey was that I might not be able to 'save' these children from their trauma and pain."
What is the biggest lesson you learned from being a foster parent?
"The biggest lesson I have learned is that it is not my job to 'save' these children from their trauma and pain. Also, that my voice and opinion [are] valid; I am part of a team around the child and although that is not always respected by the service, I will use my gut instinct alongside my experience. I have learned to fight when it's right and be confident in my approach."
Is there anything you would change about your experience as a foster parent?
"What would I change in my experience as a foster carer? I would be more confident about my gut instinct earlier in the journey."
Do you have any words of wisdom for future or new foster parents?
"Words of wisdom... hmm, one of the things I was unprepared for at the start of my journey was the impact of so many people being involved in our life, and all those people would not have the full background or history or agree on how to manage behaviors etc. so everyone coming up with the same plan was almost impossible. Apart from [being] exhausting and very repetitive as a [foster carer] it can very easily and quickly knock out your confidence. My words of wisdom are 'listen to your gut instinct first,' look at the child within your home and not in 'a service.' You as the foster carer will know more about this child than any social worker who visits for an hour every six weeks... believe in what YOU feel."
Angie's correct in her explanation of how many people are suddenly involved in your life when you take in a foster child. There are caseworkers, drivers for visits, family and friends who have opinions, nosy people in your neighborhood who want to know what's going on... the list goes on. Some people will want to 'give you advice' on what you should be doing, while others will just be an ear for you to vent to when times get rough. Have confidence in your ability to care for and love the children you take in, and you'll do fine. It's always nice to have a support system, but you don't want to rely on their advice alone; you need to remember that you're the one who is caring for a child and you need to do what you think is best for that child and the rest of your family.
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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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.