Ok, so I've been WAITING impatiently (first class Thursday!!!). But I've also been reading and soaking up all the foster parent info I can get my hands on. LOVE this book-- Success as a Foster Parent: every thing you need to know about foster care (written by the national foster parent association.) So much good info!
And what have I learned in all my reading? The children do not "scare" me. I love kids! I can have eons of patience when it comes to kids...in my job, I can (usually) calm the most terrified children and make progress on their dental cleaning appointment. (I'm a dental hygienist, by the way:) A terrified 2 year old with down syndrome? no problem, we'll get there! 5 year old twins with severe autism? Oh, the progress we've made! This is all because I know their limitations. I know they are truly TRYING in their own way to understand their world and why the heck I have to stick sharp instruments in their mouths;)
It is the ADULTS that will be difficult!!! The biological parents, the social workers!! I have a short amount of tolerance for those who know better...or those that I have determined SHOULD know better....I know this is entirely MY issue and I'll be working on this. To me, it all comes down to making "good" choices. Make consistently good choices and your life will be better for it...right? (Look for a job or smoke pot all day? Buy milk for your children or buy booze? Slap your children or hug them?) I'm sorry but how can always making "good" choices result in your children be taken from you?? Ok, ok I will learn to be tolerant! I just need to keep remembering that these ADULTS were once CHILDREN who had bad ADULTS as influences...you know, the whole vicious cycle thing...
Another thing I've given a lot of thought to and have been learning about is RACE. I've been telling DH (B) all along that I don't care if we get a child that is purple, I have this need to be a momma! Well, God doesn't make purple children but he does make "red and yellow, black and white" (from the bible song "Jesus loves the little children") ones. I know that these children will be well loved by us no matter what color they may be, BUT they also some exposure to others like them. They also need to learn about their culture. The second shouldn't be a problem. Our city has a festival (and B and I love festivals!) for every ethinicity and from there we can use that to get further resources to help our future foster children. From there we'll hopefully work on the first one and make contacts with people/friends of their culture. I'm not afraid to ask for help from others whether it be ethnic hair care or multiracial play groups.
Along the same lines I've also given thought to how our future family will "present" to others. I never really gave it much thought until I read up on it. B is truly a "I am who I am, take it or leave it" kind of person, while I am...well...not. Yet another thing I'll be working on. Not just having a child with different skin color than us, but (even more so) damaged foster children acting out (rage, temper tantrums) in public. Will I care what other's think of my foster children? I certainly don't want to shout out to every stranger "I'm just the foster mom, this is not my fault!" Humility...can I learn that?
To the Mamas of my babies on Mother's Day
3 months ago