Its a Family Affair

29
Aug
2013


This week I’ve been sharing information and my heart for serving children in foster care.  We’ve talked about the incredible need and also the options to be a part of the solution – for everyone.  Today I wanted to touch on what it may mean for your family, most specifically if you have other children already in the home.

After Monday’s post, I received a note from a mom who was concerned with making a choice to foster and what the impact would be on her other children.  I decided that if she had this concern, it was likely a concern for others as well and I wanted to share my thoughts on our journey as well as things to consider.

If you’ve read our story of fostering to adopt, you are already familiar with the struggles we had with our oldest and her willingness to share in the desire to foster or adopt.  I thought I would share a bit more, tackle some concerns other moms may be having and also let my daughter, now 20 and away at college give her perspective now that she is older and our family dynamic is different.  I will be honored to share her post tomorrow, so come back for a special Friday post!

One thing that made our situation a bit unique was were were a blended family.  It brought a level of emotional immaturity to our family – which may or may not be something you have to consider.  When we began looking at the idea of fostering our “new” family was still fairly new and we were still all adjusting to each other.  It was a very tricky time.  Let me say, blending a family is not at all what it looks like on the Brady Bunch!

Nurturing What You Have

Whether you have a house full of biological children or step-children or other adoption children, I think it is key to make sure that your family is healthy and you are nurturing the children you have.  As moms we can always feel like we don’t give enough time to each of our children – that is not what I am talking about.  There will always be children beckoning for your time, I am addressing the unique needs your children may have as well as your husband.

In order to even begin to think to bring another child into your home for any amount of time, you need to have a full grasp on caring for what you already have.  This does not mean perfection and it doesn’t not mean you are doing it all for your family.  What I mean is that each child is getting what they physically and emotionally need.

I needed to know in my heart that I was doing my best job as a mom to each of my children.  I confirmed this through prayer and hearing from the Lord – understanding that I was doing what He had in mind for my family.

Accepting God’s Will

If you have this desire to serve and or bring a child into your home for any amount of time, whether to adopt or do emergency or short term foster care, you need to be sure this is truly God’s will for you and your family.  When I first had to idea placed in my heart for adoption, not only was my daughter not on board, but my husband was entirely not on board.  In my ‘old ways’ I would have pouted and sulked until he gave into my demands and I got my way. Thankfully I had grown in this area and knew I could not make this happen on my own terms, if this was truly to happen, I HAD to let God have this one and He had to work on my husband’s heart.

Family Discussions

We began having discussions about what my husband and I were experiencing and looking at with our kids, both together as a whole and individually.  It became apparent that our teenage daughter was not on board, did not like the idea that we would have one more in the home and her opinion was that we didn’t have enough time for everyone in the family as it was.  After many discussions with her, as well as seeking professional counseling on varied levels, prayer and  wise advice, we recognized the concerns she had but finally told her that unfortunately she could not make decisions of this magnitude for our family.  We told her we understood her concerns, but felt that we were truly being disobedient to not following this call on our lives.  In the end, she willingly signed the paperwork that she needed to sign and submitted to background checks, etc that were required due to her age.

If you are met with some resistance with your other children, consider their concerns, try to address them, pray and then also decide to what level your children will make life decisions like this for your family.  If you were to get pregnant ‘naturally’ and a baby was on the way, how would you handle that in your family?  Would your kids have a say in whether you would keep that baby or not?  Yes, that’s a bit steep and far fetched, but I honestly feel that we need to accept God’s calling {if you do have a calling} and then allow our kids to follow that 100% and be an example of selfless obedience.

Address Concerns

Allow everyone to share what truly is a concern.  Perhaps no one will have one – our middle son was onboard 100% from the get go!  He was ready to open our home and bring another in – but remember, you will likely have different levels of concern as well as questions that need to be addressed.  Seek out professionals as well as others associated in foster care to help you ease concerns.

Living Out the Gospel

When you make a decision to open your home, you are truly living out the gospel in a physical way.  What a better way to teach your children this life of giving and becoming selfless than truly sacrificing in His name?  Our kids had to give you some things in order for us to make this choice to foster.  No question.  But the better part is that I feel they gained so much by seeing us live out the call to truly love others and sacrifice.

It is no easy choice and every family is different.  Being open to knowing there will be huge changes in your family dynamic as well as family relationships is important.  If you go into this blinded by thinking it is all roses, you will be extremely disappointed.  It is hard and helping your children realize it will be hard is realistically important.  But I am adamant with the belief that our kids should not make life decisions and I am so glad that I was given wise counsel when it was critical for our family.

You can read my daughters post tomorrow, which I am honored to share.

 

Susan signature

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase we receive a portion of your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Confident Mom.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.



Help Susan Help These Children!

Error: Please enter a valid email address

Error: Invalid email

Error: Please enter your first name

Error: Please enter your last name

Error: Please enter a username

Error: Please enter a password

Error: Please confirm your password

Error: Password and password confirmation do not match