How To Love A Foster Mom
May is National Foster Care Month! So, I wanted to share some ideas on how to get involved. Not everyone is in a place in their lives where they can be a foster family. This does not mean that there is nothing else you can do. There are SO many ways you can get involved. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that it takes a village to make this happen and everyone plays a different role.
As of April 7, 2019, fiscal year, there are 3,847 children in foster care in Region 3, which for most of you reading this, includes your county. This is a large region and includes large cities, however, these numbers are staggering. There is much to be done to ease the burden on an already over worked system.
We now have 3 little ones in our home. It’s not easy, we are all tired and weary, BUT we love these little guys so much. Three boys: we still have Little Lion Man and we have added Dash, because he is so fast, and Grasshopper— he's a little guy but he makes the cutest little chirping noises that reminds me of a grasshopper. Plus his legs just never stop moving.
We would never be able to do this without our people.
I don’t say this for praise, please don’t praise me for what we do. This is a calling and it’s one that takes a toll, but gives back in the sweetest hugs and cuddles from little souls. I say this because I want you to know that we would never be able to do this with this many babies without our people. In an instant our lives went from a family of 5 to 7. In a moment we went from 1 toddler to 2 AND a newborn. Most families grow slowly, they ease into multiple kids. Ours changes on the constant. It’s because of that, that we NEED our people. We need the late night runs to our foster closet to get some clothes and diapers for new placements, we need those meals in the first few days because it takes some time to adjust, we need those visits to sit and talk or let us take a nap, we need those shoulders to cry on and lean on when we just feel done in.
There are SO many different ways you can help if being a foster family isn’t for you. Here’s a few to get your wheels turning.
The Gatherer. This sounds funny, but it’s not. Be the one who goes to garage sales on the last day asking if they would like to donate to foster closets around the area. We have one right in Providence Village that is always in need of clothes, diapers, and toys for ALL ages.
The Feeder. Be the one who coordinates meals for the first few days for foster families who have new placements.
The Runner: You can run to the foster closets or store for foster families taking emergency placements. We never know the age or size of the kiddos until we get the call, but mostly not until when we get them.
The Supporter. I am always SO grateful for the friends that come by and sit with me to just let me decompress or to hold a baby so I can grab a nap.
None of these things require any training. These are things you can do for any foster family.
If you are wanting to go that extra mile, you can always get certified to be a babysitter. This requires some training and a TB test. Hope Cottage can help get you certified if you want.
5. The Babysitter - can watch a kiddo for up to 72 hours.
Every single one of these roles is so vital to making foster care work. As a foster mom, every one of these have been invaluable to me. I would encourage everyone to spend some time thinking about how you feel comfortable getting involved.
As always, if you do feel lead to be a foster family, Hope Cottage is the best agency to get trained through. I am always available for a chat. If you need help finding a place to get started, I can point you in the right direction.