As some may know Stefen & I have been thinking about foster care for a while now, and started seriously looking into it in the past year. We officially decided we wanted to be foster parents last year and have been in that process since. Everything has been working out perfect with it, down to how close the classes were to our house (they said they’re almost never in Brooksville and we’d have to drive 1-2 hours. Ours were 15 minutes from our home).
We knew going into it that it would most likely be harder than it would be easy most of the time, but we were also sure it was what we were supposed to be doing right now, or so we thought..
Exactly 4 days before our MAPP classes started (the required 30+ hours of classes and homework needed to start the process of becoming licensed foster parents) is when we found out I was pregnant! We had thought I might be before that, but the tests were coming out negative so we just kept moving forward. Now that there was a positive I was still trying to move forward in case it wasn’t true. We decided that after our first appointment when we could really confirm it we would tell our licensing specialist and see what we needed to do. Our first appointment ended up being a week before our last MAPP class, and also a week before our first interview with our licensing specialist. The interview was basically just to go over more paperwork and the final things that needed to be done in our home. I was really sick that day so thankfully Stefen said I could stay in bed while he talked to her!
I had heard that if you get pregnant in the process of fostering they require you to wait a year. Our licensing specialist said there were no such requirements, but asked if we still wanted to go forward with it. At this point we did, so Stefen told her yes. Stefen has been 100% into fostering as I have been, but with me being pregnant he told me the decision was really up to me because I would be with the kids more than him. That’s not a sexist comment or anything, but realistically I am home more hours of the day than he is hah.
SO that sounds great, except for me I was thinking this really makes it harder because the decision is on me. I started to think about this, our first child. I know it is a lot of work, but mostly I was thinking this baby will be mine & Stefen’s. I want to be able to wake up and stare at it for hours. I want Stefen to learn all the things about a super tiny baby and bond while learning them because it’s his baby.
I started to question if I wanted other children in our home during this time, which was hard. At the same time I also knew that it was what I wanted. I called our licensing specialist, told her what I was thinking and then asked what she thought. I went over all these things with her, how we were 100% sure before but now were questioning if it was the right time, and didn’t want to make such a big commitment with any doubt in our minds. Her reply was more encouraging than I was expecting! She said she had already been thinking about it before I said anything and thought we should wait. She said she has her own children and knows how important this time is as a family, especially with the first. She went on to say how this in no way looks bad on our part and in fact it’s better that we are able to make this decision now than just go through with it and be overwhelmed.
The best part is the MAPP classes we took are good for up to 5 years! If we were to have gone through with this whole process and decided once the baby was here to take a break, we would have had to take those classes again when we started back up. Since we have only taken those classes and haven’t went any further with the licensing process it still counts. She said, basically, right now is the perfect time for us to decide we want to put it on hold because we will be able to pick back up right where we left off.
So that is what we are doing. Putting fostering on hold. We told her for about a year but of course that could change either way. We are still 100% sure that we want to foster, and honestly I wish everyone could take the classes we took just to have more knowledge about the foster care system. It has been so awesome to have our eyes open to things that we didn’t realize before, and also hear other foster parents talk about how horrible it is at times but then hear them say they wouldn’t change any of it. It really is a great thing and I would encourage anyone who has thought about it (or hasn’t) to consider it.