Happy National Adoption Awareness Month!
My husband and I have been on a stop and go adoption journey for over two years. Having issues with infertility we decided to adopt through foster care. After having our biological daughter, we kept pursuing adoption as a viable option for siblings.
We became foster parents instead of attempting a private adoption for several reasons, but mostly it’s just what was right for us. In two years, we have had placements, emergency placements and respite kiddos come to share our home. In that time we’ve heard praise and admiration from friends and family because they tell us, they could never do that.
Is it hard to open your heart and home to a child you’ve never met in a circumstance you couldn’t believe? Yes. But what’s harder for the child? Your apprehensions or their current situation?
If you have a stable home and family life, that child needs you. They need someone who cares for them, they need as much consistency as possible and they need to see what a loving family looks like.
In the United States, there are approximately 428,000 children living in foster care. To compare, there are about 400,00 churches in this country as well. In Flagstaff, there are approximately 200 children living in foster care, with around 50 licensed foster homes and over 100 churches.
How to Get Started
The task to become a foster family can seem a little daunting, but it really isn’t.
The PS-MAPP class, which can be taken over several weeks or over one long weekend.
A Home Study
Paperwork, of course!
We needed some pretty obvious things in our home to be considered a safe place for a child, like a fire extinguisher, textured bathtub, first aid kit and carbon monoxide detector (among other things).
You’ll also need a Licensing Agent. We have several in town, but I’m most familiar with, and recommend, Catholic Charities or HRT. If you’re considering foster care, start by contacting an agency.
Ok, listing it all out seems like it’s a lot, but my husband and I got licensed over a summer so time-wise it didn’t seem so crazy.
If you have foster care in your heart at all, or you’re thinking to yourself, “yeah, I can totally fit another kid in my already crazy household”, do it! Ignore all the logistical things I said because when it comes down to it all you need is room in your heart and a bed.