Category Archives: Fostering

Becoming a foster parent isn’t actually that hard. You take some classes, fill out some paperwork and, if you’re a relatively decent human being “BAM!” Now you’re a foster parent.

However, once you have a foster kiddo and you’re “in the system”, there are a lot of situations to navigate.

I am a first-time foster mom and I’m blogging about my experiences. I write about everything from how much school foster kids miss to getting doctor’s appointments scheduled.

Honestly, it’s a little risky. The reason it’s hard to get “real” information, is because everything here can be used in court. Often, words get twisted.

However, when people know the truth, steps can be taken to improve the system.

So many of the “resources” out there don’t fully prepare people for what it takes. I’m trying to change that, with one blog post at a time.

It may just change your mind about fostering altogether.

 

List of Daycares in Northwest Tallahassee

The day we got certified to be foster parents, I started looking into daycare options since both my husband and I work full time.

As a foster parent, the state provides a voucher that can be applied toward the cost of daycare. However, not every daycare accepts the voucher. Additionally, of the daycares that do accept the voucher, the ones that are rated the highest fill up quickly. In fact, many daycares in town have waiting lists making it even that much more difficult to find last minute childcare when a kiddo shows up at your door one night and you have work the next morning.

Where to get a list of Daycare Providers

To be fair, the Early Learning Coalition (ELC), who handles some aspects of daycare for foster children in Tallahassee, will provide you with a list. However, it’s a complicated process.

First of all, the list of eligible daycares isn’t available on their website. There isn’t a form online to request a list (that I could find). There is one if you’re a typical parent but not for foster parents. Second, once you call and request a list, they only email you a list of 10, so if you want more than 10 daycare options, you have to call or email and ask for another 10.

Why I Created My Own List of Childcare Providers

Because of this, I decided to develop my own list. Since I live in zip code 32303, for this list I only include daycares in Northwest Tallahassee. However, I work in 32308 and plan to create a list of daycares in that area too. If there is enough interest, I may add daycare and childcare options in the other Tallahassee zip codes.

GET LIST OF DAYCARES EMAILED STRAIGHT TO YOUR INBOX

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Really, any Tallahassee parent or future parent can use this list, but I did call each daycare on this list to specifically ask if they take the ELC voucher for foster kids and I made note of it in the far column, so if you are a foster parent in the area, hopefully this will be a more comprehensive resource for you.

If you live in Tallahassee, please like this post and share it with your friends! I’ve got some other downloadable resources in the works that will be beneficial for parents living in the area.

New Year, Same Me, New Goals

I have to do this – the obligatory New Year’s Resolutions blog post. I can’t help myself. So if you’re looking for something as basic and cringy as a pumpkin spice latte, then you’ve come to the right place.

RESOLUTION ONE:

Stop swearing like a sailor. I grew up on the Last Frontier and never grew out of it, so cut me some slack ok? But I’m trying to cut back. Like people who are addicted to cigarettes, I figure I can ease out of the habit. Maybe get down to one a day and then eventually quit altogether. Or just save it for when I am really losing it, or visiting the Last Frontier, maybe special occasions. You get the point. The bottom line is, it’s going to look bad if the foster kids go off to Pre-K with potty mouths, so I’ve got to rein it in.

RESOLUTION TWO:

Join a cult. I mean, who doesn’t love kool aid? Just kidding. Not THAT kind of cult. My cousin Sophie talked me into giving Orange Theory a shot so I signed up for 6 months of classes. There’s been some discussion of moving Spann Family Olympics (aka Christmas) to a new, and more tropical location, next year, so we have to be ready for it. Nothing like circuits and a pounding bass to get your butt in gear.

OMG “butt” isn’t a curse word, right?

RESOLUTION THREE:

Read more non-fiction. Technically, this was my resolution last year but I liked it so much, I figure I can just keep it going into 2019. My favorite nonfiction book that I read last year was Bad Blood. If you like crime books, you’ll probably love this one.

RESOLUTION FOUR:

Publish a blog post every week. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night feeling inspired and I write 3 posts in 20 minutes. But usually, that’s not the case. So my goal is to write even when it’s not easy, mostly because google’s algorithm cares very little about what my content actually says as long as my posting schedule is consistent.

If you have ideas for blog posts, or there’s something in particular you would like me to write about, I’m open to ideas, so share in the comments. The holidays are over and I could use some inspiration!

Foster Parenting: It’s Risky Business

The difficulties of foster parenting in Tallahassee, Florida

The other day I was at a junior league social. Yes, they let me in despite my short hair and lack of southern accent. At the social, everyone went around the room and shared something exciting that happened to them recently.

Of course, I shared that my husband and I just got licensed as foster parents.

One of the league ladies came up to me after and was gushing with excitement. She told me that her aunt was a foster parent and went on to share many wonderful stories about foster parenting.

I was happy to hear this and completely shocked at the same time.

My experience up to this point when we have told people we are going to be foster parents is 1) Whoa, I could never do that. Good for you. Immediately followed by 2) Let me tell you this horror story about a 6 yr old kid in care who murdered his foster family…

So, it was nice to meet someone normal who had something positive to say.

The Difficulties of Foster Parenting

It seems there’s a lot of people out there who aren’t foster parents but want to make it crystal clear to us how difficult fostering really is. As if we, the ones who sat through 8 weeks of classes, had hours of conversations about it and watched thousands of minutes of video on the subject, didn’t already know this.

Every night there are a million thoughts running through my head:

Will these kids be demons who slowly destroy our marriage? Will they destroy our new house? What if I forget to lock the pool gate and they drown? What if we fall in love with them and they go back to drug-addled parents? It it really possible for your heart to ACTUALLY break? Will the bureaucracy of the system put me in therapy? How expensive is therapy? Are we ruining our lives by doing this or saving someone else’s? How are we going to work full time and be parents AND deal with all the court stuff that goes along with this?

I don’t have answers to any of those questions. It’s a pretty big risk. And to be honest, it might suck and we may decide after one placement that we just can’t do it.

But then again, maybe we can.

I guess that’s the thing about taking risks.

You won’t know how it’ll turn out unless you try.