Friday, November 13, 2009
Foster or Adopt: NATIONAL ADOPTION AWARENESS MONTH
For my friend David who says I never post pics of myself..lol
November is NATIONAL ADOPTION AWARENESS month. The Children's Network of SW Florida who is our local state contracted adoption agency held an appreciation dinner tonight at the OLIVE GARDEN RESTAURANT...Yummy Yummy.... and THANK YOU for dinner!! The occasion for me to put on some make up and spend alone adult time... I met several fantastic humans who have the same passion as me(in a smaller scale)
If you have ever thought to adopt.... contact your local adoption state agency or view waiting children in your state... ALSO, foster parents are needed country wide.
In talking to a family who no longer does foster care it became clear we need more every day families joining the foster care program to foster children. The system sometimes lends to dysfunction so it calls for the community to help keep the balance...example.
The woman explained to me that she could not run a "normal" household being a foster parent because the counselor would make appointments and cancel and then when the end of the month came it became the foster families problem that the case worker hadn't seen the child (required by law) This foster mom had many examples of these type of invasive acts of inconsistent and unorganized contacts. WELL, I was a counselor for 11 years and it is NOT THE FOSTER FAMILIES PROBLEM!! Maybe once in a blue moon would this be the case(cancel appointments). It is poor planing on the case workers part and they need to change their behavior. I remember a foster family that NEVER would let me make visits of any kind during their dinner hours.. Made me schedule well ahead and hold to my schedule for all visits with this family. The beauty of it is the children (THE FOCUS OF THE JOB) in this home had experiences of "normal" family time to share their day. Bond as a family and get insight from a well rounded family environment they had never had and may never otherwise had...THANK YOU! Keeping your family just the way you got approved in the first pace to foster is the key. Setting your limits and boundaries and keeping them is very very important. Going into foster care you take a MAPP class, I taught MAPP classes; being real in these classes along with you being real to yourself and your family in becoming a foster parent is a key to success. You need to be sure you are prepared with all your questions asked. Be strong to ask hard questions and honest answers when questions are asked of you.
The children coming into your home are not those from the local spa and tennis club so be ready, have your family ready and embrace the children with all your love, THEY need you. Children are amazing... they need your solid guidance even if it is a day, a month, a year or a lifetime..
One conversation leads me to mention; if you are becoming a foster or adoptive family you need to be honest in that you are taking the children in AS IF THEY WERE YOUR OWN.... this does not mean that the "foster" kids do not get to have access to things your born from you children would..It does not mean these children get any less than if the child was your own. If you can not do this than please pass...The kids in foster care have had many more losses in life than most adults, thy do not need more. Volunteer if you have questions of your abilities and see how it feels. Can you hold, hug and love on a child other than your own? Can you sit and listen to children telling horrific stories of their experiences being non judgemental to be a listener and offer guidance without criticism? If you need help and have the desire please seek to be... THE CHILDREN NEED YOU!