In the last few months, in addition to continuing to quarantine together (did you see our Quaranteam post?), we also became licensed in foster care! Although we aren’t planning to do traditional short term foster care (what many people think of when they hear “foster care”), we are now open to adopting out of the foster care system. There are many kids hoping to be adopted on the “Waiting Child MN” website and we have been looking into a few different cases to see if we would be a good match for one or more of these kiddos!
Foster care often holds different meaning for different people, so we wanted to share some significant learnings that we had during our education classes:
- Foster care doesn’t only mean temporary housing. Though many kids in the foster care system are only staying in foster homes until they can reunite with birth families in a healthy way, not all kids in foster care are looking for a short term home. Many who have had a TPR (termination of parental rights) are looking for a forever home!
- Kids in foster care range from infants to 18, and beyond! There are so many teens and even adults looking to be adopted by a family.
- Kids in foster care often come with trauma and so need additional care and, often, a different way of parenting. If you know people who have adopted out of foster care (like us someday?), ask parents how you can support them in caring for their kids. Don’t assume that you know how to handle any given situation based on your own parenting experience.
- Kids’ stories are their own. Often kids in the foster care system have experienced a variety of living situations and care that range from positive to negative. It’s a common desire to want to know all the details, but that’s not always fair to the kids. Their stories are theirs to tell, and so you might not know the whole story for a long time (or ever).
Other resources that are helpful:
- The Fosters (this TV show tells the story of a family who adopt two kids out of foster care and is one of our fav TV shows!)
- Instant Family (this heartwarming comedic movie is available on Hulu)
- Beyond Consequences (this book talks about trauma-based parenting and care)
- CHLSS Blog (read brief posts about a variety of interesting topics relating to foster care)
There are so many possibilities to care for a kid in foster care – as an emergency foster care home, a temporary foster care placement, or adopting out of foster care! Here are three recommendations we have: