Chronicles of a Foster Family: “How Are You Doing?”

3

February 24, 2014 by greenhouse04

People sometimes ask how we’re doing with this new foster child. So, I’ll tell you!

We’ve had Baby M. for exactly six weeks now. It’s gone by fast. We’re tired, we still don’t know what will happen in his future, and we’re growing attached to the little guy.

Eddie and Emma have done very well adjusting to Baby M.’s presence. Eddie has been excited from the beginning; in fact, he was praying for a baby to take care of for weeks before we got the phone call! He has been very helpful – “watching” the baby for me and feeding him when he happens to be hungry at an incovenient time.

Emma’s acceptance of Baby M. has been surprising and wonderful. I was worried after our difficult time with Mari a year ago, but I think it helps that Emma is now three and that Baby M. is immobile and uninterested in her toys. She’s mostly ignored him, although lately she loves making him smile, and has even fed him a couple of times! (for about 1 minute each time)

Baby M. has prompted interesting discussions with Emma, too. At times, when he’s crying, she’ll say that he “wants his mommy.” I’ve explained that, while I’m not his mommy right now, I am his foster mommy, and he actually wants me because he knows me best. This has led into explaining how she and Eddie were both in another mommy’s tummy, but now I’m their mommy because I adopted them. I told her that when she was a little baby like M., I was her foster mommy, too. But now I’m her real mommy, her forever mommy. I get confused myself while trying to explain this, but I know that she will understand more of it than I realize, and may start making her own deductions and asking her own questions.

Mr. has finally begun to warm up to Baby M., now that he’s smiling and on a more regular schedule. 🙂 My husband just doesn’t see the appeal in newborns – after all, they just lay there and need fed and changed all day! As for me, I just love newborns.

And, as for me, I just love Baby M., and have been amazed the past six weeks how calm I’ve felt about his case. It helps having two children of my own, and being done with their long and exruciating cases. Every time I send M. off for a visit with his parents, I am reminded of how blessed I am to be done with that FOREVER with Eddie and Emma! I am often overcome with thankfulness to the Lord for them.

However, I also struggle at times. I struggle with not wanting to love M. too much, with not letting myself be consumed with questions about the future, with trying to know how I should feel and think. I often pray and ask God to help me know how to feel about M.! It’s so hard not knowing.

So, that’s how we’re doing. We’re doing great. We aren’t doing great. We’re tired. We’re calmly plodding on. We don’t like the new case worker. We love all the smiles Baby M. is giving us. We don’t know how we’re doing. We don’t know anything. Now you know. 🙂

Next Post: I’ll go into a little more detail about how I’m really doing. It may not be pleasant. Beware.

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3 thoughts on “Chronicles of a Foster Family: “How Are You Doing?”

  1. megs875 says:

    My husband and I are looking into foster care. We start the 32 hours of training next month and are currently filling out the first packet and gathering everything that goes in it. We have 4 children of our own 6,5,5, and 2. Even though we have the ability to birth another we feel like our next child will come from foster to adopt but I can’t help but be a little afraid. We are looking at ages 0-4 and a boy since we have 3 girls. Afraid of letting a child I don’t know be so close to my children. A child that may have bad habits and possibly endanger my children. Mostly afraid that I won’t know how to do this. Afraid that I won’t have what it takes, that the words of comfort won’t come, that my parenting skills aren’t fine tuned enough to meet the needs of a child who has gone through so much trauma. I know this is something we are supposed to do but I can’t sleep at night. We had our initial consultation and worked out some of the details but I still don’t really know what to expect. Any advice?

    • greenhouse04 says:

      Meg – thanks for reading my blog and for asking questions! You have a big heart and seeking advice is a great way to find the help you need to get started in fostering. I don’t have any great advice, as I still don’t feel very adept coping with a child who has experienced trauma. However, I would caution you to take it slowly… since you have a lot of fears, be very sure fostering is something you are willing to commit to, regardless of the difficulties, before you jump in. It’s not fair to rush into a commitment only to discover that you are in over your head and want out – not fair to the child. Also, since you have several children and are concerned for them, I would suggest only taking a child who is younger than your youngest. You can still be licensed for 0-4, but at first I’d recommend only taking an infant or 1-year-old. Very small children won’t bring the “baggage” that could harm your own kids. Also, have a good support system – DO NOT try to do this on your own! Your most important support is your husband – in fact, he shouldn’t just be there to support you, but should be invested just as much as you are. If he’s not, if this is something you’re “dragging” him into :), then you might want to reconsider. Finally, the biggest thing that has supported me, given me wisdom, and just helped me keep going from day to day is my relationship with Jesus Christ. He is a very real help, and can be for you, too. Hope this helps!

  2. megs875 says:

    Thanks for replying to my comment. It’s nice to get my thoughts out and to have someone to listen. It helps quiet the fears and worries and helps me to think more rationally. I think your advice to only take children younger than my youngest is good advice and something I have thought a lot about.

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