Monthly Archives: August 2012

Peace

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As the time grows nearer to truly beginning this fostering journey I found myself beginning to get somewhat stressed about what is the ‘right’ decision to make when it comes to welcoming a child into my house. I began to really want a younger child (as in under 18 months). A younger child is so much more in my experience and comfort zone. A younger child would make it easier to finish my Masters. A younger child would be easier to parent for my first experience at fostering. And I was feeling so torn, trying to work out if this was just the selfish me talking, or if was a practical and sensible decision.

I think a part of it was also the fact that one of my friends has just had a baby and, being honest here, that makes me want one too. My friends, who love and support me totally, were encouraging me that it was ok to think I should take a younger child, and perhaps God was telling me that it was the road I should be taking. I think my friends care for me, and they want to protect me, so it’s natural for them to want this to be as easy a journey as possible. But in the middle of all the thoughts was the nagging feeling that I was being selfish. I didn’t get into fostering so that I could have my own child. I got into because I wanted to be a part of making the system better, because I believe I can offer stability, because I believe in social responsibility, because as a social worker, and someone who is quite informed about parenting children from hurt background I believe that I have the skills to help children to heal, and because I believe that that is what God wants me to do.

And so I finally did what I should have done so much earlier. I prayed. Now I know that not all of you believe in God, and so perhaps you won’t understand this. And that’s ok, but I do believe in Him and gain more strength from Him than sometime even I can imagine. And so I prayed.  And now I feel peace. I started looking at my motivations again, at why I am doing this, and felt reassured once again in God’s purpose for my life. I’m not in the journey for myself. I can’t know what each child will bring. I can’t know how easy or difficult it will be to complete my studies. And I can’t limit myself or a child based on my own desires for things to be easy. So I am once again content with my chosen age bracket, which is 0-6, in keeping with the age of child I would be parenting naturally and the age of children that my peers are currently parenting. I don’t know if the phone call will be for a newborn or a kindergartener, but I feel that when the call comes I will be able to separate selfishness from sense and make a decision that is in the best interest of this child. I feel at peace.

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All done bar the waiting…

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I’ve had my final assessment and it was only four hours, not seven, yay! It was a relatively painless process, the worker came to my house and we basically talked through all the criteria that the government has for foster carers and made sure that I understood my place in it all. If anything we talked more about behavioural and developmental stuff that I did in the training. I think the key difference is that with the worker I did the training with (who has now apparently been given the sack…interesting) I had the distinct impression that I knew more about children from traumatised backgrounds than she did. With the worker who did the assessment (who was a fly-in, not from my town) I could tell that she was very experienced and knew a lot about the kids who end up in foster care. She seemed committed to finding ways to get them the best possible outcomes, and was very aware of the shortcomings of the system. The long and the short of it now is that I’m all done on my end. I’ve been told it will probably be about a month for all the paperwork to get to the right place and various department cogs to sort themselves out. And now I wait…