I was thinking the other day about all the things I used to think about fostering and decided to write them down in case other people still thought these things as well. Here goes...
1.) People are "in it" for the money.
Let me just say, that unless foster parents used to get paid A LOT more or unless you take in 10 kids who don't eat very much and need no clothes or anything like that then there is no way you are in it for the money. You get paid a very small amount and for infants that will be used on diapers, bottles, wipes, etc. There is no financial gain at all!! Not to mention the amount of things you have to do to become a foster parent. This would stop even the greediest person.
2.) People who foster babies must just be "baby" people.
Confession: When I see a newborn or small baby I DO think they are cute. I DON'T think, "Oh, I need to hold them, cuddle them, coo at them, etc." I DO think, "Man, I bet that mom is tired" or "Man, I remember those days." Now, I will be honest and as my kids have gotten older I do have the slightest pull on my heart because I know mine will never be that small again. However, I am just not what you would call a complete baby person. I know that probably sounds so strange since I have a desire to foster babies but I guess I'm hopeful someone else can understand. I do have such a longing for every baby to be held and loved and just to know someone cares but I don't have a desire to run and babysit every friend with a newborn. Clear as mud?
3.) People who foster are opening up their home to "those types of kids" and unsafe situations.
No! You are able to decide what age you want to foster and you won't be having an open house party with all the relatives of the foster child. J.O. and I have certain things we are very cautious about and I have no reservations about this at all.
4.) Only awesome, well put together, saintly mothers foster who can handle everything.
I mean, we all know those moms who make the rest of us look bad. You know, the ones who don't leave the house looking homeless and ragged and always have fresh baked cookies and put together kids. Those moms. I always imagined those were the kind who fostered. The ones who I would stand closer to at school just so some of their "goodness" would rub off on me. So imagine my surprise when I went to my first training and there were people like me in there! You know, moms who looked tired?? I mean, I have another confession....I am so far from put together it's scary. Shocking to my friends I know! :) We are a busy family with a son in school, piano, boy scouts, baseball, choir at church, a daughter in dance and school and two parents running in all different directions. I mean, sometimes when we go to Wal-mart I look the other way when my kids are running crazily down the aisles just so I can finish getting what I need without stopping.
All that to say this...I am the most unlikely character ever to do this and if God can use me, He can use you in mighty ways. I NEVER expected to be called to do this and have my game plan in life changed.
I read this today and it really hit home..."We say Christ is Lord, and He can interrupt our plans anytime He wants. We just don't expect Him to do it. We assume He will affirm everything we are doing and never ask us to change anything we have planned."