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.

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