Please don't think I am a pathetic sap — The Bump
Adoption

Please don't think I am a pathetic sap

I called foster and adoptive services to apply to be a foster parent almost 2 weeks ago and they said if I didn't hear from a recruiter in a few days to call back. I called Monday so waited until Friday. They said wait until after the holiday weekend and now it is Thursday. I know 2 weeks is nothing but I am so excited to start the process and I am feeling so rejected and like I am sitting on my butt while kids who need me are just sitting in the system.

All I want is to vent to H and him say "I am frustrated too, I want this to happen as well." But all he says is "stop rushing, be patient." AF is due so I think I am just really emotional right now. Sorry for this rant when I know you all have probably been waiting years. I just needed somewhere to vent. I have helped 4 couples start families (egg donation, I didn't give up my children) I feel like now it's my turn to get something. I know I am so blessed to have a wonderful beautiful son but I just want more kids to know love and kindness.

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Re: Please don't think I am a pathetic sap

  • I can completely understand as I was very excited to start the foster parent journey as well.  

    This is the part that you probably won't want to hear.  There is A LOT of waiting when it comes to foster parenting, so I would try to start getting used to being patient (whether you like it or not) now.  I know that sounds harsh, but that was some of the best advice given to me in the beginning of our journey since I'm very impatient and want things done efficiently and quickly- neither of which our county does very well.  Unless you are going through an amazing agency, most county/state offices are drastically understaffed and just don't move quickly.  It took us 10 months to become licensed which felt like FOREVER, but then we were told afterwards that people were surprised we were licensed so quickly!

    But besides all of this, feel free to vent away!  And I totally mean that with all sincerity.  We have all been there!  It is frustrating and it does suck!  The fostering system is broken and not close to ideal, so there are a lot of frustrations along the way.  Venting to people who understand is one of the few things you can do to keep sane through the process.  

     

  • Thank you so much for your input! It is so helpful to hear from people who have been through it. I was told 6 months but you know how that works. At least it gives us time to save for the addition on the house we want for the new kid. I will try my best to be patient but it is not easy :) Last week DH and I went out (first date in forever) and it was 11PM when we were on our way home. We saw a lady with a kid about 3 sleeping on her lap while she was sitting on a street corner (on her Iphone) and I just thought. I could be that kid's mom. I could give him a wonderful life full of love (and actual beds, or my lap if he prefers) but because of the system he is sitting on a street corner in downtown Philly at 11pm.
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  • It's a process and waiting is a big part of it. Took us a month to get the initial application mailed to us and there aren't even classes offered until the fall, so we likely won't be licensed for another year. I try to focus on what we are trying to do and find ways to learn and grow in the process. It can be hard to see a setback or delay as an opportunity, but it's helpful when I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. It took us a long time to come to this decision, so part of me is ready to start NOW, but I know I'll be even more prepared when it actually happens and hopefully more capable of dealing with whatever bumps we hit along the way.
    ***************************** Our beautiful daughter was born in October 2009. Turns out she was quite the miracle. After two years of TTC, diagnosed with DOR. A couple of failed treatment cycles later, we decided to let go of our hope for more biological children and explore adoption.
  • So I totally get where you are coming from because I had many of those same thoughts.  But I just want to comment because I want to make sure you understand the flaw in your logic.  And please don't take this as me trying to be rude because despite me knowing how the system works, I still wonder if I might be a child's foster mother in the future.  So this is something that I challenge myself to get better about too!

    If there is a reason to bring children into care, then they will be brought into care.  I have never heard (and I'm not an expert so this might not be 100% true) that children are not removed from a bad situation because the county/state/whoever didn't have enough foster parents.  If there aren't enough foster homes, then the children are placed in a group home (aka orphanage) or in our county they will actually have them sleep with the SW in the county building (for a night or two) as they continuously try to find a foster home that is able to take them.  

    I also think it is important as a foster parent to realize that while we provide safety and love that may look different than what a biological parent is able to provide, it does not mean that it is better or that the child should be with us.  The standard of care for a child (what the minimum parents need to provide in order to keep custody of their children) was surprisingly low when I learned about some of the specifics.  But there are MANY families who struggle to provide for their children.  And just because you might see a family at their low moment, it doesn't necessarily mean that a child should be removed from the parents care.  Many states/counties have incredible in home programs that keeps families together and helps them better provide.

    All of this to say that I TOTALLY get that you are super excited about being able to provide a safe and loving home for a child in need.  I feel the same high about being able to give children in need a soft nest to land in.  But I also continually challenge myself and other foster parents to make sure that we are not judging the biological parents because we view our ability to provide as "better".  They might be able provide adequately for the child, but it just looks different.  Yes, they may not have a cushy bed or brand new clothes for the first day of school or even a fancy birthday party.  But if they can provide the basics and love that child that's all that matters.

    Sorry, I didn't intend to get up on my soapbox.  But it looks like I did.  I just wanted to give you a perspective that I try to keep in mind so that I can continue to be respectful to the biological families.  

  • image Spooko:
    There is a lot of hurry up and wait in this. It's also a roller coaster of emotion. The nature of the beast, I suppose. I know it's hard, so you have my sympathies. You may need to take up a hobby or something to distract yourself in the meantime.

    At home I am always so busy, it's when I am bored at work that I get these feelings. I guess it is better since we planned on it taking a while after starting so our LO could be a bit older and self sufficient and then we can have the addition ready for him or her.


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  • image elissaann26:

    So I totally get where you are coming from because I had many of those same thoughts.  But I just want to comment because I want to make sure you understand the flaw in your logic.  And please don't take this as me trying to be rude because despite me knowing how the system works, I still wonder if I might be a child's foster mother in the future.  So this is something that I challenge myself to get better about too!

    If there is a reason to bring children into care, then they will be brought into care.  I have never heard (and I'm not an expert so this might not be 100% true) that children are not removed from a bad situation because the county/state/whoever didn't have enough foster parents.  If there aren't enough foster homes, then the children are placed in a group home (aka orphanage) or in our county they will actually have them sleep with the SW in the county building (for a night or two) as they continuously try to find a foster home that is able to take them.  

    I also think it is important as a foster parent to realize that while we provide safety and love that may look different than what a biological parent is able to provide, it does not mean that it is better or that the child should be with us.  The standard of care for a child (what the minimum parents need to provide in order to keep custody of their children) was surprisingly low when I learned about some of the specifics.  But there are MANY families who struggle to provide for their children.  And just because you might see a family at their low moment, it doesn't necessarily mean that a child should be removed from the parents care.  Many states/counties have incredible in home programs that keeps families together and helps them better provide.

    All of this to say that I TOTALLY get that you are super excited about being able to provide a safe and loving home for a child in need.  I feel the same high about being able to give children in need a soft nest to land in.  But I also continually challenge myself and other foster parents to make sure that we are not judging the biological parents because we view our ability to provide as "better".  They might be able provide adequately for the child, but it just looks different.  Yes, they may not have a cushy bed or brand new clothes for the first day of school or even a fancy birthday party.  But if they can provide the basics and love that child that's all that matters.

    Sorry, I didn't intend to get up on my soapbox.  But it looks like I did.  I just wanted to give you a perspective that I try to keep in mind so that I can continue to be respectful to the biological families.  

    I totally understand what you are saying. I am just excited :)

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  • image IdigDirt:

    I totally understand what you are saying. I am just excited :)

    Thank you for understanding my intent.  I want to encourage you to be excited and enjoy it!  Enjoy each step you make that gets you closer to being a foster parent.  Although the process is slower than we would all like, it was fun to celebrate the many steps it took to actually get there.  Foster parenting is the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.  But that excitement and passion is what has pushed me through those really rough days.  So I think it is crucial to overstock your tank with excitement now while it is so fresh! 

  • image elissaann26:
    image IdigDirt:

    I totally understand what you are saying. I am just excited :)

    Thank you for understanding my intent.  I want to encourage you to be excited and enjoy it!  Enjoy each step you make that gets you closer to being a foster parent.  Although the process is slower than we would all like, it was fun to celebrate the many steps it took to actually get there.  Foster parenting is the toughest thing I have ever done in my life.  But that excitement and passion is what has pushed me through those really rough days.  So I think it is crucial to overstock your tank with excitement now while it is so fresh! 

    That is a really good idea to celebrate each step. I will try to do that instead of being so impatient. It is hard when I am such a planner. I even have our trip to Disney when the adoption is final planned. Yes I know chances of adoption are slim but I will continue to live in my little fantasy world for now.

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  • image Spooko:

    I'm a planner, too, so I get it. Just know that, in this path, there's no planning. You're really going to have a hard time of this if you can't let some of that go. This is coming from a BTDT experience, not a judgmental one. Promise.

    Also, another thing that stuck out to me is another BTDT experience. My parents fostered for years, and eventually adopted 2 girls from it. It was great that my mom was so gung-ho about helping the kids who needed help, but I often felt that those who were in the home already became overlooked because we didn't need the same level of help and we had lost our new, shiny appeal. So my word of caution is to focus on the child you do have in the meantime. DD is the same age as your DS and is changing everyday. It goes soooo fast. Don't get into the habit of focusing so much on the future and what's to come that you lose sight of the today. And there's my soapbox to accompany PPs :)

    I need to make the bolded into wallpaper for my house. 

    So I am a super crazy planner as well!  Fostering has really changed that for me.  This was the first year as an adult that I didn't have all of our vacations planned before the first of the year.  And I still don't have our vacations planned for this summer! 

    To give you some perspective without very many details, we were placed with Butter Bean (2 months old boy) at the end of February.  We have been told that he could move out of our house with less than 2 weeks notice (to multiple places for multiple reasons) since mid March until now with the exception of a 2 week period at the beginning of May when we thought he'd be with us at least until the end of the year.  Despite things being so up in the air with his case, I have been planning a 1/2 birthday party for him for over a month now (because I'm that crazy planner foster mom), but now am pretty confident he won't be in our home to actually attend it.  Of course, I'm bummed about not being able to celebrate this milestone with him.  But that's foster care.  You can't plan on anything.  As a planner, it sucks.  But I think it has actually turned out to be a HUGE positive for me since it makes me appreciate today SO much more!

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    image elissaann26:
    image Spooko:

    I'm a planner, too, so I get it. Just know that, in this path, there's no planning. You're really going to have a hard time of this if you can't let some of that go. This is coming from a BTDT experience, not a judgmental one. Promise.

    Also, another thing that stuck out to me is another BTDT experience. My parents fostered for years, and eventually adopted 2 girls from it. It was great that my mom was so gung-ho about helping the kids who needed help, but I often felt that those who were in the home already became overlooked because we didn't need the same level of help and we had lost our new, shiny appeal. So my word of caution is to focus on the child you do have in the meantime. DD is the same age as your DS and is changing everyday. It goes soooo fast. Don't get into the habit of focusing so much on the future and what's to come that you lose sight of the today. And there's my soapbox to accompany PPs :)

    I need to make the bolded into wallpaper for my house. 

    So I am a super crazy planner as well!  Fostering has really changed that for me.  This was the first year as an adult that I didn't have all of our vacations planned before the first of the year.  And I still don't have our vacations planned for this summer! 

    To give you some perspective without very many details, we were placed with Butter Bean (2 months old boy) at the end of February.  We have been told that he could move out of our house with less than 2 weeks notice (to multiple places for multiple reasons) since mid March until now with the exception of a 2 week period at the beginning of May when we thought he'd be with us at least until the end of the year.  Despite things being so up in the air with his case, I have been planning a 1/2 birthday party for him for over a month now (because I'm that crazy planner foster mom), but now am pretty confident he won't be in our home to actually attend it.  Of course, I'm bummed about not being able to celebrate this milestone with him.  But that's foster care.  You can't plan on anything.  As a planner, it sucks.  But I think it has actually turned out to be a HUGE positive for me since it makes me appreciate today SO much more!

    I was wondering if you still had Butter Bean in your home or not. Glad for the quick update. Sorry he won't be sticking around too much longer.

  • I was just checking your blog for updates on Butter Bean, too.  Sorry he'll be leaving soon!  However, I love your insight into fostering.  I'm hoping that my SOand I are able to be a little patient in the process and be as supportive of the bio parents! 

    OP, I'm right there with you.  I decided about a month or so ago that I was going to get started on the foster care journey.  I've been in contact with the director of foster care services since then but he hasn't given me an official date for the orientation.  Well, he calls me on Tuesday to tell me that in my county the orientation if the 4th Tuesday of every month from 3:30-4:30...It was 4:32.  So while I am grateful that I only have to wait 4 more weeks for the next one, it was a little upsetting that had he called an hour and two minutes sooner I could've already had this done and over with.  Our county is hurting so bad for foster parents they're expediting everyone's files and getting them approved in less than 3 months!  So hopefully not too much waiting but the little bit of waiting I am doing is ridiculously exhausting.  I feel like that entire paragraph I just typed is a bunch of rambling but point it, hang in there!!

  • Thank you all for all your support (this is an awesome board!) I am so sorry that your Butter Bean won't be staying longer but I admire your attitude. I am so hoping we can adopt our foster child but what happens happens.

    To the PP who said she felt second place to her adopted sisters (sorry, I don't remember your name) would you mind if I asked you some questions? That is my fear but the reason we are adopting is to help someone while giving LO a sibling at the same time. I want the age range I chose (0-5) so they can be close in age and be brothers (or brother and sister but in my imaginary scenario it is a boy). Do you feel like your sisters are your "real sisters"? Would you preferred they didn't adopt or just that they didn't pay more attention to one over the other? DS has some issues that require some therapies and some attention also so I know he won't get pushed to the back burner.

    This is all so scary and exciting at the same time. 

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  • Spooko, hope I spell that right, I'm on mobile so I can't see, thank you so much for sharing! I want all the info I can get! I mean what else can I do while waiting for the call :P
    I want a young kid while my DS is young so they feel like "real siblings" and have a strong bond. And now that I know your story I will be extra cautious to not let anyone feel less important or loved or part of the family.
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