I am seriously having second thoughts about foster care, and I need to say this to someone who might understand. I don't have worries about whether or not we could love a child, or even provide a stable healthy enviroment to grow in. I don't worry about our getting "accepted" either, or that adopting out of foster care might feel different to me than having a bio child (I list these because they seem to be the "normal" worries).
Here's what I do worry about, to the point that I am thinking we might need to reconsider becoming foster parents (and please have mercy on what I am about to say), I worry about the punishing the child/ren. I never in a million years thought that this would be an issue except that I had a dose of reality this week. I am a huge proponant of "time out" so I never thought that I might have an issue with this, but this week my sister had an emergency and needed me to watch my nephew for the week. I have done this since he was born (he is 4). He has been coming here to stay for periods of time since birth, as well as being mainly financially supported by us for most of his life as well... This is a part of "normal" life for us, but this week- my nephew put me through the ringer...
Nothing worked. Time out- did NOTHING. He was completely unresponsive to anything I said/did until I finally broke and spanked him (after five and a half days of everything else not working- prior to this I had never spanked him). It wasn't hard, but still... So, follow my train of thought... my nephew who is generally a great kid, and is REALLY comfortable in my home, got me to the point where I spanked him- so what is going to happen with foster kids? I KNOW I can't use that kind of punishment with them (and like I said I normally never use it anyways) so what am I going to do when nothing else works with them?!
It goes deeper than that too, my nephew's parents are... horrible. Unfortunately there is no other way to put it. They get into physical altercations over who "HAS to take him" (even though they won't allow anyone else to take care of him). I have tried really hard not to judge them but... I am failing. Then I caught myself telling my nephew "not to talk back to adults" which makes me wonder if I am more authoritarian than I ever imagined or have ever seen within myself before.
I have felt for a long time drawn towards foster care, especially since almost my entire family is either former foster children of my grandfather or adopted by him. I have been around the system my entire life... so why do I now find myself afraid that continuing might be a mistake? I have no idea about what we should do, am I normal here or is this serious cause for concern, and please be honest because I need to know the straight truth... Thank you for taking the time to read this! GL to you all!