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Foster Parenting can teach you a lesson

December 2, 2011

Many people who are thinking of adopting opt into foster parenting first. This is what we chose to do simply to see if we had what it takes to be parents. We wanted to get some experience first, so as not to mess our own kids up. After all, we were big pushovers for our first dog. A very spoiled bichon shitzu. Now, I am not saying that parenting is like raising a puppy, but for us we needed to develop some backbone.

After the application, criminal record check, child intervention check, interviews, more paperwork, and even a home safety inspection, our licence finally arrived. we were so excited to get our first kids. We had heard all about how the system was overcrowded and there weren’t enough foster homes to go around.  We had even heard that in some areas, foster children had to spend weeks in a hotel. This was heartbreaking. So, when our license came I was waiting by the phone for it to ring. I waited and waited and after about 3 weeks I was going crazy with frustration. Why aren’t they calling? Don’t they need us?

Now on the other end of this was our worker who was ruling out poor placement options for us. Finally they called and they had two boys 2 and 4 and they were willing to pay for daycare during the day and even some respite. We didn’t know that this hardly ever happened. Even our worker said she wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. We said “let’s take them”. We thought, how hard could it be? Little did we know…

When the boys were brought over by their social worker the older boy had to be physically held in order to keep him from freaking out. He was climbing the walls, quite literally! ADHD (attention deficit hyperactive disorder) and probable FASD (fetal alcohol spectrum disorder) as well as bouncing from foster home to foster home had made this kid a nightmare. His younger brother we nicknamed “little soldier” as we didn’t think we had or would ever see anyone so stubborn. He wasn’t hyper but had something called ODD (oppositional defiance disorder). Also known as “I will do the opposite of what you tell me to no matter what!” Oh fun!!!

Now, I could tell you anecdotes all day about the crazy stunts these kids pulled on us, like when the older boy climbed the antique fire truck and scratched it,  but I will get to my point. I believe that these two came into our lives for a reason. Someone up there heard us say that we didn’t know if we had what it took to be parents….and low and behold these two show up! Whatever needs you have the universe will certainly provide.

It wasn’t all bad, there were some great laughs, and after 3 months they started to calm down a lot. I even learned how to stay calm in the face of massive chaos. After 6 incredibly exhausting months with these boys, they were going to get adopted. Yeah!!! As we said farewell, a tear in our eyes, we also knew deep down that whatever our future adoptive children could dish out for us, we could handle it! We were officially parents!

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