Foster care is on my mind this week. Those who read the Rainbow regularly know that we are a foster family, and we see that as a big part of fulfilling our calling. And as of this week we have officially transferred our license to Greene County, having moved here a couple of months ago.
Within hours of having our name "out there" as an available foster care family, we had received two calls. Literally. Less than one day. If that doesn't say something about the need for foster and adoptive families, nothing does. So as of this afternoon, we will be a family of five for a while as we welcome our new foster daughter into our home!
Now along with that, I read a news story within the past couple of days (though now I can't remember where) about a move to try to make adoption and foster care more difficult, if not outlaw it altogether, for single adults. I'm sure I do not need to go into much detail about why I would think this is a colossally stupid idea.
We need MORE foster care, not less. The training for being a foster parent is rigorous - 30 hours of classwork, certification in CPR, first aid, and medication, 15 hours a year of continuing ed to keep up with new trends, not to mention the meticulous requirements of the household itself - insurance, fire escape plan, electrical outlets covered. They even make sure your pet licenses are up to date!
It is already pretty hard to become a foster parent, and by the time you get licensed, married OR single, you have been through a process of discernment and reflection that is designed to make sure both 1) the system wants you and 2) you want to be in the system. The bottom line is, being a foster care family must be a vocation or you won't be able to do it. If it is not truly a life calling, you will be frustrated by it.
Those who would make it impossible for single people to be foster parents are implying that they would rather have kids put into residential facilities than private homes. I have nothing whatsoever against residential facilities, but I cannot see how that would be better for the kid in any way, shape, or form.
Anyway, we are back into the foster family world, after a few months of adjustment as a result of our moving. We ask you all for your prayers and good thoughts sent our direction. And if you are thinking that God might want you to be a foster family, too - give us a call! We'll get you pointed in the right direction to make that happen.