Anyway I'm thinking about becoming a long term foster parent when I return to Australia. It's almost impossible for a single person to adopt plus I don't think I can handle the pregnancy thing on my own and more importantly there are so many children out there needing a stable, loving home.
I've started to look into it, the fact that I work full time is unbelievably a mark against me. that I'm in a respectable job and earn a very comfortable wage makes me less appealing then an unemployed person who will be home all day. I guess this is why we have issues with people using foster care as a money earner rather then for altruistic reasons. I think with the lack of carers my work status will eventually be overlooked, at least for school age children so its probably not a total block.
My only, and very selfish, concern is that it's kind of admitting defeat. Once/if the child is in my life they will become my first and main priority. I'm wondering if this means that I will never find a partner as I have a hopefully stereotyped view that it will be almost impossible to meet a guy willing to date a woman with a child. In Australia at least long term foster care is typically when there is no chance the child will return to the parents so they are usually placed with you until they turn 18 or you are allowed to adopt them so it's a lifong commitment.
If love to hear some reassurances from any single mums out there. I guess if I'm honest I've decided to go ahead with it and am just grappling with what being a single mother would mean.
They are amazing kids who had a really rough start to life. There have been challenges for my sister along the way, but the three of them were just meant to be a family. They're a blessing for my sister and our whole family.
If there's a will, you'll find a way.
"And never grow a wishbone, daughter, where your backbone ought to be."
- Sarah McMane
My heart went out to this girl, but she was so abusive & terrible that I could only be around her one time. That was it, I had to tell my sister not to bring this girl back to my home as she was an unsafe person for me & my children.
I strongly support fostering. I only want to point out that some kids in the foster system are severely damaged by their environments and need special parents who are experienced. You don't often hear stories like my sister's story.
There are all pretty messed up young adults right now. Drugs, early pregnancy, unhealthy emotionally. One was a boy who was the child of a prostitute and all three kids were born drug addicted. The boy grew to be so violent that he was put into a group home by the age of 11 because they were afraid he would kill the adopted mother.
I don't know if the continued problems were because ex's mom (the 3rd husband left….) is just not a good parent or if the kids were too damaged or what. But, overall it was a terrible experience.
When I met ex, only the first child was adopted and about 3 or 4 at the time, then adopted the other two while we were dating and early marriage. At one point we were their guardians, but as I began to see how many challenges they were facing, I refused to be their guardians. I couldn't see trying to have those children around mine…as terrible as that sounds.
I think, purely from a Mom's point of view, if you could foster an infant, than you would have a better shot of having a good bonding experience and "normal" childhood. But, the older the child becomes and what they have been through can make for an extremely difficult experience.
With that said, many of us here are either full time single parents or primary single parents. I have my kids 90% of the time. It is hard, but it IS totally doable. Organization and learning to let go of the small stuff is key.
I have no problem getting dates as a 43 year old single mom.
Purely my opinion, but if I had to choose between fostering and going through a pregnancy alone…I'd choose the pregnancy route.
Years ago a man walked in to enroll his foster child at my elementary school. I recognized this man as a friend of a friend from years ago (he was a single gay man who always wanted to be a dad). That little boy was was like Naturegirl's sister's foster child. He was angry, resentful, and became destructive to objects and attacked other children & animals. We all tried to help the child but my friend & Social Services decided the child needed a different environment (with 24 hr therapists) so the child went elsewhere.
A few years later I'm living in another town working in a home for abused children and a man arrives on the door step to pick up one boy - it's my friend again! He became that child's foster parent and a few months later also fostered that boy's brother (who was living in another facility). The two boys were reunited! Two years later he adopted both of them! I remember him saying that by adopting, rather than fostering, he had to give up the state $ support, but he said it was more important for his boys to know they were a family and had a permanent home. He was an awesome dad.
These children need good foster parents.
I love this video highlighting one child's story. I've seen so many children who go through this exact situation.
You have to consider whether you can provide the structure, permanence, and supports that a foster child may potentially need. If you can and you are matched with the right child, the rewards are amazing. A lot of good can come out of it but it is a tough road to walk.
I know of one or two success stories, where foster care worked out great for the kids. I know many other stories where it didn't. I'm "living" two of them right now. It's heartbreaking for ME, and I'm not the foster parent, just someone working with them at school.
Not trying to turn you off of fostering, heck, I've thought of doing it myself, but want you to know that many of the kids you will come across may have cognitive issues also. Unfortunately, the reasons any kid gets into foster care are not happy ones in the first place. It take special person with some thick skin not to take things personally.
WH says marriage is over: May 15, 2009.
EA#2 July 20, 2009. Legally sep: Aug 16, 2009. DIVORCED!!!! Signed Nov 23, final Dec 24, 2010, adultery listed.
If you end up with an out of control or dangerous or too damaged child, then you work with social services to get the child in the right placement.
But there are so many kids who are not irretrievably damaged. Who may be difficult, but are still just kids. So many who need a loving oerson to take care of them. To show them they are loveable.
One of my colleagues is a young (late 20s) gay man. Works full time. He is fostering an elementary school boy with a dreadful mother. Has been for two years now. That boy has blossomed with my colleague as his foster dad. And my colleague is happy about the relationship too. He's a good dad.
Please, if your heart tells you to try, try.
There aren't any guarantees with children and child raising. Except that showing child love and concern is guaranteed a good thing to do.
For those of you that mentioned family and friends who had severe behavioural issues with their ward could you indicate how old the children were when they entered their lives?
Of the three, the infant is the most "normal", but she is only 15.