In the past year we have had 12 foster children enter our home. One remains, several went to family members, some to parents. We still maintain a relationship with three children who went home to their parents.
Some came as singletons and some as sibling groups. We had all ages from newborn to teenagers. Most of the time we received calls for sibling group preschoolers. Not many foster parents can afford to have a stay at home parent.
Each of those 12 children needed a safe place to land. Each child came with their own fears, needs and challenges. Many came with only the clothing that they were wearing.
We calmed fears, evaluated for services, provided clothing, school supplies, toys, understanding, patience, a stable environment and love.
Some of the children we had for very short periods of time. Some longer. When a child comes we don't know if it will be a few weeks, months or years. It makes planning a little challenging. DSS gives their opinion but it isn't always accurate. Some of the children we have adopted were short term placements.
We are tired. Our children need stability. Children coming in and out of the home is difficult for them. We love fostering but fostering has lead to our adoption of 5 children with their own challenges.
We have an open adoption homestudy but have not been able to take an adoptive placement because we constantly have foster children in the home.
Recently we had our quarterly visit from DSS and told them that our current foster child will be our last foster child. We are open to one last adoption but do not want more children who come and then go. It is hard to say if we will ever receive another adoptive placement since we have other children to consider. Our first objective is to make sure that any placement is safe for our children.
After more than 10 years of fostering it seems strange to stop. We feel that there is a strong need for good foster homes but we need to concentrate on our kids at home. We will continue to foster our current placement until he goes home. This temporary placement has now lasted 6 months. I am not quite sure how long temporary is!