December 28th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1164982_happy_family_I have noticed that most of my families' interaction occurs around the eight foot island that we have in our kitchen. This should come as no surprise since it is only a step away from the refrigerator and I have three teenagers and an almost 10 year old. I have to laugh though at how many times a day I wipe that counter clean. I am not sure that you would even believe me. Yesterday night, we ate around it. I laid out all of the Christmas leftovers, paper plates and yelled, "Come and get it!" They sure took me seriously. It was like a stampede of elephants thundering from their respective corners of the house. Thank heavens I had the foresight to choose my… [more]

I Know This For a Fact

October 22nd, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

148735_namibian_students_-_sports_1There are many times that I look at my family and am in awe of the differences amongst us. Each of my children are of a different ethnic race. Each comes from a different situation. Yet, when they are all together- it works. It is not uncommon to be able to spot the foster families because of the obvious differences in racial ethnicity. These differences make many people ask questions. Yet, there are so many similarities amongst children that it comes as a surprise to me that people think raising a child of another race would be so scary. There are things that are done differently. One example is haircare. If a Caucasian foster family has an African-American child they need to know how to… [more]

Cold and Rainy is My Favorite

October 13th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1359070_rainy_dayThe sunshine has left the Midwest and in its place is a muted, hazy feel with rain on the horizon. For many this shift in weather brings gloomy feelings. The children are in the house more, the mess seems to pile up and the fighting increases. Yet, I have to admit this is my favorite time of the year. I love it when sweatshirts are needed to go outside and the sun doesn't really shine. Perhaps that sounds silly to you? Let me tell you a little secret. My personal workload reduces about 50% after the cold and snow of fall and winter come. I begin to have the time to read to the youngest, talk to the older two and clean the… [more]

Faithing Into the Birthmom Relationship

October 10th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

blogOur three "Littles" have a half sibling who is almost a year old.  He is in shared custody of his birthparents.  That baby is the main reason we have continued visits with their birth mother; we do know how important the sibling bond is, and we want to do what we can to facilitate that bond. Nonetheless, visits continue to be challenging.  Our September visit was postponed because 2 of our 3 little ones were sick and we didn't want to make the baby sick.  Two weeks later, birthmom was sick.  We rescheduled to last weekend and she no-showed. Last night I got a text from her sister.  She is in the hospital.  She has a serious health issue and has been there since… [more]

Group Homes and Other Craziness

May 1st, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

mothers day vintage graphic--graphicsfairy010I almost threw a rock at my television the other day.  A television actress was bragging to Ellen or someone about a group home she started in her home town in Mississippi.  She said she started the home to "fix the broken foster care system."  Seriously??? There is so much that people do not understand about Foster Care.  They have the impression that (a) siblings are always separated, (b) that kids go to foster care and never get out, and (c) that all foster homes are negligent, dirty and uncaring.  By the way, this is the point of view that the actress was putting forth. By contrast, my experience with foster parents is completely the opposite.   Maybe things are different… [more]

A Winding Road of Hope

April 16th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care
Categories: Basics, Infant, Siblings

1257037_winding_roadFoster care is an amazing thing. In a world where everything does not always go as it should and people don't always love as they should, foster care means hope. Hope for kids. Hope for parents. Hope for the future. It is a privilege to be able to say, "I work in foster care." Not every country has the infrastructure and financial backing to support such a program. In the countries that don't, the children suffer. Foster care, when done right offers support, family and comfort for a child in transition. Quite often this is the only stability that they witness. What an awesome privilege and tremendous responsibility. There are hard times for the people in foster care situations. Difficulty seems to follow this… [more]

United Nations Clan

February 19th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1331489_lollipopsMy friends, in good fun, call my family the 'United Nations Clan'. Before you get upset and feel like they are disrespecting us, I have to say that I laughed when they said it. We have always sparked the interest of others. Questions about my middle child have been the name of the game since he joined us as a foster child eleven years ago. He is an African-American child. As an African-American child in a Caucasian foster home, people had questions. We have always been willing to answer them. You would be hard pressed to find anything that we won't talk about. If it could be an issue for a child in life, my middle son has probably experienced a form… [more]

A Way of Life

February 16th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

749316_dollhouse_family_portraitsI read an article the other day about a boy whose parents were also foster parents. It talked about a day in his life, which was particularly hard because of the choice his parents had made in becoming involved in child welfare. He became upset and said, "Well, I didn't sign up for this!" The part of the article that got me thinking (and chuckling) was this quote, "For Nathan, 16, finding his home "invaded" by strange children with their forceful demands on his parents' time, who ripped at his childhood toys and picked fights, who stole from the house and sometimes behaved shockingly by exposing themselves and even offering sexual favors - although, of course, many others fitted in well and… [more]

Is This Exciting?

February 12th, 2011
Posted By: on Foster Care

1181506_one_step_2I talked with a newcomer to the Foster Care motherhood this morning. I had forgotten the excitement of the unknown that can exist. She was talking about how thrilled she and her husband are that they are just finishing their licensing. Her fire was contagious. I was excited for them as well. Though I have to admit, my mind drifted back to the time when our first foster child came to live with us. He was beautiful, smart and very lively. What a doll. Yet, he when he joined our family, it was hard. In reality, the hardest thing that I have ever done. He came with his own personality, likes and dislikes, attitudes... I could go on for a long time about what made him different… [more]

Do Foster Care Workers Care About the Children?

June 9th, 2008

How many times have you heard a foster parent complain about their children’s foster care worker? If your state’s foster care system is anything like ours, then probably too often, unfortunately. It has been our experience during 14 years of foster parenting that foster care workers do not stay at their job for very many years. Many are young, fresh out of college, without children of their own, when they start. They are full of ideas about changing the system or making a difference. They are confident in the parenting techniques they have learned at college and expect you to follow. Then reality sets in. Within a couple of months, their caseloads are filled to an overwhelming capacity because of government cutbacks, vacancies, leaves, and transfers… [more]