Thursday, September 8, 2011

"Foster Friday" - The Far-Reaching Impact of Foster Care and Adoption

Well, we're not going to have an official panel discussion of "Foster Friday" this week...  Mostly because I was a slacker, time got away from me, and I completely neglected to send out a topic.  :-)  So this week, I think I'll change things up a bit and pose a question to all of you...  All of my fellow foster/adopt moms, dads, siblings, extended relatives, friends, co-workers, acquaintances, former foster children, birth parents, social workers, etc.!

Foster care and adoption touch many lives in many ways...  Not only does it have an effect on the people directly involved, but foster care and adoption can impact the lives of everyone in ways that many people don't even realize.  Are you a friend of someone directly impacted by foster care or adoption?  Are you an acquaintance or co-worker watching from the sidelines who has been moved to become more involved by what you have seen?  Are you a teacher who has seen how foster care or adoption has impacted your students?  Are you a birth parent, foster/adoptive parent, foster child, or relative of a birth or foster family?

This week, I'd like to ask all of you how foster care or adoption has affected your life... 

Please keep comments productive, educational, and non-inflammatory.  This topic is meant to help everyone see the many, many ways that foster care and adoption can impact lives from all sides.  We want to hear about your personal experience.  My hope is that the "Comments" page on this particular post is long, well-rounded, and is used in the way in which it was intended...


Michelle said...

Becoming a foster parent has impacted my life in huge ways. I see many of my friends getting their foster care licenses now, so I know what we as foster parents do is impacting those around us, whether we know it or not. I cannot stand by and do nothing knowing the need in my community. There are children of all ages coming into care daily. So far, for us, foster care has been amazing. We have two new daughters because of it, and one will have her adoption finalized soon, so she will be ours forever. After reading her case file, I realize what a miracle this child is. Wow. To know what the birth parents have gone though is devastating, and you can begin to understand why the need for foster parents is so great. Broken lives, and shattered families are everywhere. If I can step in, provide a loving home, and help break the cycle in some small manner, I am grateful. I am really glad we chose to step into the world of caring for children who desperately need stability, safety, and love.

DannieA said...

While full disclosure during the fost/adopt process before adoption is finalized can bring out a myriad of emotions from shock to anger to sadness....I believe that knowing about the biological families and their background and experiences (all from the reports) I have more sympathy/empathy for families having a hard time. I work in a title I school district and you know there are a few teachers that get jaded and start talking about "those families with problems" and yes 'those families' have problems, but for some reason it makes me want to help out or be a friendly and supportive face that could maybe help a situation whether by being a friendly speech therapist to a child that needs a happy environment during the school day or a resource or rather knowing phone numbers for resources for parents that are having life challenges.

I guess the bottom line is that I feel a lot of sadness a lot of the time. At least in my case, my daughter's mother really had a hard life growing up and without a family support system, life was really against her and I can see why she landed in a position where her child(ren) were taken from her. Yes after a certain point in life one ought to know "right from wrong", however, sometimes life just doesn't give you a shining path to help you towards the right path.
ah ok I'll stop now :D

Diane said...

One of my friends from work spent a lot of time with me and my kids while a particular three year old girl was placed with me. My friend fell so in love with her that she got her foster care license, just in case the child did not go home. After almost a year, the child was placed with her grandmother for adoption. The grandmother is not a native English speaker and is unemployed.

I and my friend developed a positive relationship with the grandmother. Now, four years later, my friend still goes over at least once a week to help with homework and anything else, as well as taking the child out for special events some weekends.

Final result: friend is like a second mom to child; grandmother has a support system; child has special person who can help and provide more than grandma could by herself.

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