Friday, November 9, 2012

Who supports you?

There is a foster parent training class going on right now and 3 different people in the class had asked to interview me as part of their training.  Of course I was happy to oblige and help more people on the road to foster parenting.  There were a variety of questions...what made you want to be a foster parent? what are your feelings/thoughts about keeping in contact with the biological family?, what were your expectations of foster parenting? etc.

The one that had me thinking the most is "who supports you?"  It was easy for me to quickly say that my family and some really good foster friends are my best supports going through this journey, but then I thought about what does real support look like?  For me, the following are how I generally have felt supported along this journey of foster care, and perhaps there are some ideas for you to help support someone else.

  • A note/email/text/phone call  letting me know you have been praying
  • An encouraging word/Bible passage to help with endurance in these seemingly endless cases!
  • the mail :)
  • Meeting for coffee to vent and "be raw" about how we are feeling
  • A phone call asking how court has gone 
  • When a new placement came a gift for him :)
  • Babysitting for all the kiddos so I can be active in court and staffings
  • People willing to have background checks done just so they can babysit for us
  • Most of all, loving on my kids....whether they are here to stay forever or just a season :)
Part of the journey for me has been to let go of expectations of what support should look like. What I thought it would look like in the beginning is not how I view it now.  By far, having people take time out of their day to tell me that they are praying for us or ask how court went, etc goes a lot farther than a meal with a new placement or chocolate.  Now don't get me wrong...I LOVE those too, but as a foster parent I think one of my greatest needs is to know that I have LOTS of people praying for my little ones and their futures. I may not feel supported by particular people, but I have to let go of that and focus my time and attention on those who need husband, kids, other foster children, and others in my day-to-day life.  

I am interested to hear how you feel supported as a foster parent!  

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