In honor of May being National Foster Care Month, Strengthening Families, Changing Lives is running a special series designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of foster care and adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying experiences.
The Most Amazing Thing We Have Ever Done
by Niki Moore, foster-adoptive mom
My husband and I got involved in foster care after one of our friends became foster parents. We saw how it filled their hearts and decided that we may be able to open our home, too! What surprised me most about foster care was the strong need for new foster families. Since becoming a foster parent, I have learned that they are always looking for new foster families.
Our fostering story began with a two-day-old infant. She was beautiful! We were honored to be her foster family for the brief time she was with us. When she returned to her biological family, we learned the most difficult thing about foster care: no matter how much you try, you will get attached to the children. You open your hearts and your homes to them. You love them, feed them, take care of them – it’s ok to get attached! We were proud to help this little girl, even if it was for a short time. Fortunately, Wisconsin has a wonderful fostering community and I was able to connect with other foster parents who understood the bittersweet emotions I was feeling. Although fostering is often temporary, it is difficult to prepare yourself for a child returning home. This amazing group of people offered support and comfort while we awaited our next placement.
We did not have to wait long! Our next placement call was for a sibling pair. We were a little nervous to take in two children, but so often siblings are split into multiple foster homes, so we took a leap of faith and accepted the placement. When we met the two toddlers – a boy and a girl – we knew we made the right decision. Meeting them was the best thing to happen to us. Having two mobile kids enter our household was a little crazy at first. We had never been so tired, our house had never been messier, but we had never been happier! The children ended up needing a forever home and, as their foster parents, we were asked first if we would like to adopt them. Adoption was a great fit for our family, so we said yes. We were so excited to give them a forever home! (However, there are many foster families who prefer to continue to serve as a foster home. If that had been the case with us, another adoptive resource would have been located.)
When we were taking our adoption finalization class, we learned about the Coalition for Children, Youth & Families (formerly known as Adoption Resources of Wisconsin). They have been a wonderful resource for our family pre- and post-adoption. If you are interested in foster care, I recommend you reach out to the Coalition to find out more. It is the most amazing thing we have ever done. We went into this thinking we would help our community and have some fun at the same time. We came out of it with a forever family. Others foster many children and don’t adopt. Each story is different and each child you meet will leave a forever footprint on your heart. Fostering changes lives!