Friday, September 18, 2015

Interview With Taylor Talks: A Shared Love

Taylor Krigsman is the only biological child in her family of foster and adoptive children.  Taylor's family started fostering when she was just three years old so she shares her unique perspective of having nineteen siblings over a period of eighteen years on her blog, Taylor Talks.

In an effort to introduce more people to foster care Taylor has done some interviews with foster parents on her blog.  My interview with her is being featured on her blog today.  You can check out the full interview HERE.  The first couple of questions I answered had to do with demographics- where I'm from, how long I've been fostering, if I've adopted, etc.  That info can basically be found in the About Me section of my blog.

The last four questions Taylor asked me were ones which I wish I had asked foster parents when I first started fostering.  Here are those questions with my responses below:

Q:  What were your biggest concerns as you started your foster care journey?

A: Without a doubt the biggest concern about fostering that my husband and I both shared was the pain of reunification and heartache of having to say goodbye to a child.  I have learned that you have to put the child’s needs above your own fears in that regard.  Another foster mother who blogs, Angie, put it beautifully when she said, “I am not afraid to grieve.  I am afraid of what would happen to those children if no one took the risk to love them.”

Q:  What is the biggest lesson you learned from being a foster parent?

A:  The biggest lesson I continue to learn through fostering is not to judge our foster children’s bio families.  People generally do the best they know how and many of the reasons for a child’s removal- addictions, abuse, neglect, etc.- are so cyclical in nature.  If I had been raised in the same kind of environment that many of my foster children’s parents came from then I would have many risk factors stacked against me.

Q:  Anything you would change about your experience as a foster parent?

A:  I wish that we would have taken a sibling group sooner.  For many years we were cautious about fostering more than one child at a time which prevented us from taking any sibling groups.  Although we’ve only fostered two sibling groups so far I’ve found that there are advantages to fostering siblings and perhaps the greatest advantage is that they are able to help each other adjust to their new environment and not feel so “alone”.

Q:  Words of wisdom for future foster parents?

A:  It can be very hard not to do at times, but try not to think of your foster children’s bio parents as “the enemy”.  Instead, remember that you are not just helping a child but you are a resource for an entire family unit.  In many cases, these families don’t have the support many other families have (such as relatives or friends who are suitable to step in and care for their children).   Even if you feel like you don’t have much in common with the parents of your foster child, you can find unity in your shared love for their child.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Feel the Fear and Foster Anyway

I know that there is someone reading this right now who is considering becoming a foster parent but who is hesitant because of concerns and fears.

Or perhaps there is someone reading this who has already fostered or adopted but is feeling drawn to get out of their "comfort zone" in terms of the age of children they are willing to take into their home or the number of children or severity of needs.

To any of you (and certainly to myself as well!) who are letting fear hold you back I just have to share a few thoughts- two of which I came across recently within days of each other.  [Call me a mystic, but I don't think things like that happen by coincidence.]