Adopting New Ideas on FosteringCasey Mullins
Thanks to ABC Family’s new series The Fosters for sponsoring this post. Click here to see more of the discussion. Also, watch the series premiere of The Fosters on Monday, June 3 at 9/8c only on ABC Family.
I have always known I have more than enough love to give, but I’m also aware that I can overextend myself when it comes to giving of myself to others. I love caring for and raising my little people but I know my limits. I’ve always admired those who can take on the emotional needs of many children at once, be it parents of many children, teachers, foster parents or mentors. After seeing the long and heartbreaking road many of my friends have walked in regards to adoption, I know adoption will more than likely never be a choice my family makes, yet I cannot ignore the fact that there are so many children in need of a family. I am also very aware of the strength one derives from a place to truly call home.
As my husband and I make decisions regarding the future of our family we know there’s something in store for us, we just don’t know what yet. I’ve drawn so much inspiration from friends and families around me, ones that grow their families through adoption, fostering or other unique ways of caring for those who shouldn’t have to worry about who is going to care for them. I have one friend who asked me months ago if I would serve as a reference in regards to her family’s desire to foster an older child. As I talked with her she mentioned “We want an older boy and whoever comes with him, be it a sibling or someone else who needs us.” Their hearts were open from the very beginning, they knew there was someone out there who needed what they could offer —a home. Several weeks ago an 11 year old boy with blond hair, freckles, and a pile of comic books came into their life, changing it forever. The biggest consideration I’ve found among my friends in regards to fostering is waiting for their own children to be older, which is one of the biggest factors I would need to consider. We as parents cannot spread ourselves so thin that our own children don’t get the parents they deserve. The toddler I’m currently in charge of? She’s taking most of what I have.
We all have such unique capabilities when it comes to the care and nurturing of children and what I’ve found is there are as many foster situations as there are families to fulfill them. The other night a friend was telling me about a time her family tried fostering to see if they were really ready to add to their family through adoption. In the state where they lived at the time (Missouri) birth moms have 7 days before they can sign off on adoption papers. If the birth mother chooses not to parent during the 7 day period, the infant is placed with a “baby boarder” family. Rather than placing the baby with potential adoptive parents — which can add an extra level of stress to a birth mom’s decision as well as potential devastation for the adoptive parents. My friend’s family were baby boarders, meaning they had met all the prerequisites for being a foster family — but were not ready to adopt or foster long term. She said, “I loved on those babies for the few days I had them, I kept a journal for them and I was always so happy to give the baby to his or her new family whatever the decision was.” Baby boarding ultimately led them to add two more children to their family through adoption.
After hearing her experience with baby boarding I asked my husband —an attorney who sometimes handles family law cases, about the laws in Indiana to see if baby boarding may someday be an option for us.
“I don’t know, adoption and foster care laws are really complicated, that’s why lawyers are always involved.”
Of course. *eyeroll*
I love hearing about how other families come to be, there are some amazing stories out there. What most of the stories have in common is the families knew there was someone else out there for them, they just didn’t know where they would find them.
That’s where I’m at right now, I know there’s someone else out there meant for me to parent, I’m just not sure where they’re going to come from, how they’re going to come into my life or just how much they’re going to change it once they do.
Check out my post about the meaning of family and learning from others on my blog, moosh in indy.