After my third child, I was told that I probably shouldn’t have anymore children. Being as I was horribly sick for the first 18 weeks, at 25 weeks put on strict bed rest for preterm labor, and Factor V… my husband and I agreed that was a good idea. I had Shelbee and loved and babied her as if she was going to be my last. I ate up every second with her. When she was about 18 months I didn’t have that “feeling” people say you will get when you know that you are done having children. So in my quiet alone time I began researching different adoption agencies. I was so nervous to tell my husband since we were “done,” right? My husband is so incredibly Christlike and loves children, but I knew adoption is a long, hard road. I didn’t know if since we had three “perfect” children he would be ok with adding a little more crazy to our life. I prayed a lot and researched a lot. Finally, I got the nerve to ask him and at first I said it with a little giggle in my voice, just to lighten the subject. He joked back and then I responded, “No for reals?” He was a little struck but believed if it was something I really wanted and felt was right for our family he too, would get on board.
We first applied with LDS adoption services but was denied because we had three children. I then started having thoughts that adoption wasn’t the road for us. Maybe foster care? Mind you, I had only known one family who had fostered children, so I had NO idea what that even would entail. Now I was REALLY nervous to ask my husband about foster care. Again, I did my research, called the Department of Family Services and asked A LOT of questions. It was now time I needed to talk to my husband, again. He repeated those same words, but with a little more hesitation…. “If you really want to and feel it is right for our family.” I said well lets at least begin the process and then we can both decide. He had never known anyone who had fostered. His only hesitation of fostering was that every child leaves your home after you have fallen hard for them.
In March of 2014 we began the road to foster care classes. We didn’t tell a soul! I didn’t want anyone to prejudge us or want to give us any of their advice. I wanted this to be our decision and based on the facts. The classes here in Nevada are a total of 30 hours or 10 weeks of 3 hour classes at a time. Yes, it was time consuming and we felt guilty for leaving our kids every week but we chugged on and learned a lot. Our foster care license was approved on December 28, 2014. It took a little longer than normal for us, because we moved into a new home in the middle of the home study process. Usually you can be licensed in 3-4 months.
If you have any questions about foster care please do not hesitate to ask in the comments.
You can read HERE for Part 3.
Quick facts about Foster Care:
85% of children get adopted out of foster care
Based on the last Children’s Bureau in 2011 there were approximately 400,540 foster children in the U.S.
Approximately 42% of children in foster care are white, 26% are black, 21% are hispanic, and the remaining 11% are multiracial.
I have no control over which children I am asked to foster.
You can not choose the specific children you foster but you can specify age, gender you prefer. You are also pushed to ask DFS as many questions as you would like before placement.