For those of you who already know us, try to ignore the following boring info written for no one in particular.
So who are we?
Good question. We are a young engaged couple, planning our wedding for Fall 2013. We both work – me (K) as a Speech-Language Pathologist and E in the non-profit sector. We call Massachusetts home. We happen to be gay. We also have a dog named Sheba, who is our true and constant “number 3.” And this blog? Just a way to document our lives as we navigate the foster care system as a family of Sometimes Three.
What’s this all about?
E and I have decided to become licensed to provide foster care for children in our community who need a safe, loving, and stable temporary home. This all started in October 2012, when E saw an ad on the NYC subway for foster parents. She was just so moved by it. I immediately said, “…no.” But then I thought about it, researched it, and read everything I could get my hands on. To be honest, foster care just wasn’t something I had thought about. After reading for about a week straight, I decided it wasn’t something I could un-think, so we started down the road of finding out more and trying to decide whether it was something we could do. For us, “finding out more” included continuing to read blogs from start to finish (as though they were novels), asking friends and family what they thought about the idea, and seeking out friends and acquaintances who had had experience with “the system” (including foster parents, biological children of parents who fostered, and those who were in foster care themselves). Long story short, we decided to contact our local DCF (Department of Children and Families) office and officially register our interest. From there, we attended an information session and started MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) classes, officially on the road to licensure as a foster home. We plan to start a forever family in the future, and don’t see fostering as our way to do that. For now, this is our service to the community and to kids in need.
Well this is a hard one to answer, and by far the most frequently asked question. My first (and most honest) answer is, why not? I guess to be more specific, E and I felt that we had the space in our home and hearts, the resources, the support, and (most importantly) the desire. That’s the long and short of it. We want to have children in the house, we want to help out kids in need and serve our community, and we are up for the challenge. We know that it will be tough – that integrating a child who has experienced trauma into our home won’t be easy, that saying goodbye will tear at our heartstrings, and that seeing the inner workings of a “broken” system will be frustrating and sad. But we just can’t help but think that those reasons turn too many people away and that the children aren’t going anywhere. They need someone who can care for them, care about them, treat them well, and provide them with a period of consistency and stability during a really hard time in their lives. And we’d like to be there to provide that, because there aren’t enough people who are.