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Fostering Hope

This continues the story of our journey to have a family. The time frame for this chapter of our story is March-September 2007.
If you continue to read along, you will see first hand the reality of how broken the Foster Care system truly is.

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During the 8 weeks of our training, we met another couple who were going through the process to be foster parents. We got to know them quite well, and shared with them why we were going through the process.

Their goal was different from ours. They had a daughter who was already grown and had her own son, but they knew that had a big house with a lot of room, and plenty of love in their hearts to share with kids who needed love.

We never would have imagined when we first met them how quickly we would all become so close. I am so thankful that this was the case, because this process is not a walk in the park. It is a very long and enduring journey. You need someone to help you cope with everything you are experiencing. If they are experiencing the same process, it helps, I believe.

It did not take long for us to realize that there were many people that did not have the same intentions that we did. I was appalled at some of the questions that we heard during our classes.

How would we be paid?

When are we paid?

How do they determine what children are placed in what home- do they look at race?

Money seemed to be the main goal for many of these people! Yes, it is an added bonus that the State pays you to be a foster parent. In most cases, you are even compensated in adoptions as well. But to know that the only questions these people had was in regards to the money just infuriated me! Not only were they here seeking a way to make money, but they were doing it at the expense of children who had already been abused! These children were nothing but pawns- a way to make an extra buck- for these people!

For others, to know that they would not accept a child into their home that was a different race just sickened me. I am by no means trying to judge, but a child- any child, no matter what color their skin is, should be loved and cherished.

If you are not wanting to adopt a child of a different race, I can somewhat see through those lenses. I do not agree with it at all, but I can accept that. But to know that you will not even hug a child, provide them with shelter because their skin is a different color, this is just absolutely disgusting to me. However, I am sure it is better that this be made known rather than have a child of a different race be placed in that home and then that child becomes a victim of abuse at the hands of someone who is supposed to be protecting them from the abuse they have already endured.

At times, it was very difficult to sit through our classes that were required for our certifications. It was not at all because the information was too difficult. It was because of the other people who were there to be certified.

After going through this process, I believe one of the first steps in the process should be a complete drug screening and psychological check. Many of these children in foster care are removed because the biological parents are using illegal substances in the home. The State does not require that foster parents be drug tested. This is just amazing me to me. We had to have a TB test taken, but we never once had to give a urine or blood specimen.

I believe a psychological exam should also be required, because some of the people that were in our classes definitely would not have passed. How in the world can you entrust a child to people like this? They have already been taken from one home, at the very least, if not many homes. Putting them in yet another home where there is psychological issues of any kind is asking for trouble.

You are required to have a home study. I would assume that a lot of information comes out in these home studies. Having gone through one, I know the questions that are asked. However, if you decide to be dishonest, and there is nothing on your legal record, then there is no way of really knowing the truth. I believe this is how many people slip past the approval process who should never be allowed to have a child in their home. A psychological exam would prevent some of these issues. I am sure that some would slip by still, because no system is perfect. However, if just one foster parent who had ill-intentions or psychological issues was prevented from going through the system, then all the money that is required to implement this process would be worth it- for just one single person.

We finally completed our classes, obtained all the licenses we needed, had our fingerprints taken and our backgrounds checked, and had our TB test taken. All we were waiting on was my driving record. My husband’s driving record had arrived, but mine had been lost in the mail somewhere. By the time it was all said and done, we had to request my driving record four times before we actually received it.

It truly is amazing how God works. Even when you do not understand something, there is always a purpose and a reason for things happening. Every day that I live, this is concreted more securely in my mind and heart. Everything happens for a reason! Even if we do not understand what that reason is, there is still a reason.

We were getting very anxious. The only thing we needed was one piece of paper, and we could have children in our home.

I had already resigned my position at work so I could stay at home with the children. We had the rooms ready and waiting.

And we sat waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

It was almost a month after I quit my job before we were actually able to bring children home. Looking back, I realize now that God was giving me a vacation. It was already much needed, but I could have never imagined that this almost month of vacation was going to be something I would have to draw from in the years to come. 

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The purpose of this series:  Who Hears The Voice Of The Children?

The next chapter in this series: Love Plain and Simple

The previous chapter in this series: Finally! The Pitter Patter of Little Feet!

Foster Care: A Broken System- Video

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