Foster Parenting - Log #21


We will soon be at the one year mark of being licensed foster parents. As that date nears, foster parents go through a renewal process - updating paperwork to prove that they are still current with certifications and are able to provide a safe environment for kids. It's also the time to make changes to the age/gender/special needs profile of children you are willing to accept. We will be making some changes to our fostering status, which I'll explain.

First, here's a recap of the highlights of year one as foster parents. Note 1: names have been changed to protect the privacy of our foster children. Note 2: you can go back and read more detailed accounts in the previous foster parenting logs here.

Fall 2010 - we were licensed with a therapeutic fostering agency

December 2010 - had our first placement with CJ, a 9-year-old boy who stayed with us 10 days; this placement was very hard on us as a family

January 2011 - we transferred our fostering license to the Indiana Dept of Child Services to become a "traditional" foster home instead of therapeutic

May 2011 - we fostered two brothers, 3-year-old Chase and 18-month-old Davey, for 4 days; this placement went well

May and June 2011 - we fostered Candace, an 18-month-old girl for 8 days; she was an absolute sweetheart and her stay with us went very well

August 2011 - we fostered two siblings, 4-year-old Amy and 2-year-old Jason, for 8 days; this placement was very difficult for our family

If you add up those days, it means that we had foster children with us for 30 days out of the last year. You can see that much of the last year was spent in the waiting phase - waiting for a call, waiting to see what would happen next.

As Christians, we have found that working with the foster care system is a sanctifying process. What I mean is that there is ample opportunity to become more like Jesus as you deal with broken people and a broken system. Parenting itself is a sanctifying process - foster parenting seems to add another layer of difficulty on top. Patience is required as you wait. Hope is required as you deal with seemingly hopeless situations. Self-control is needed as children act out in ways that anger you. Love is required as you open up your home to someone in need. An inner peace is needed because there is much chaos going on around you. A sense of conviction is required because you will at times feel like you're failing.

We have many emotions and memories as we look back over the past year, as so much as happened in our family. There have been ups and downs, good times and bad in our lives in general but also in our fostering specifically. As our renewal process looms, we want to take a step back and ask again: Is foster parenting what God would have us to do right now? Is this how He wants our family to be involved with His Kingdom work of loving the orphan child?

I'll be sharing more next week about how we are answering those questions and what changes that will mean for our family.


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