Tag Archive: FAFQs

FAFQs: What’s the worst part of foster parenting?

Google “questions about foster parenting” and you’ll get lots of official pages from child welfare agencies, state governments and foster/adopt charities (and even a quiz about whether you’re ready to be a foster or adoptive parent), but I haven’t found any “FAQs” that answer the questions that people ask foster parents everyday.

So I started my own!  (Yay!) And I’d love your help!!!

FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions 


QWhat’s the worst part of foster parenting?

I think most people think they already know the answer to this question. I find it interesting that they ask anyway.

Honestly, for me, it’s a moving target. I think you could probably ask 20 foster parents and get 50 different answers. Here’s my shortlist (in no order what-so-ever):
  • Knowing the trauma that my Ducklings have endured
  • Fearing that that I am inadequate to help them heal
  • Navigating a system that prioritizes many things ahead of the child’s best interest
  • Being lied to/dismissed/belittled by Case Managers
  • Having my parenting constantly criticized by the birth parents who traumatized my Ducklings.
  • Dreading that a well-meaning stranger/neighbor/teacher/friend/family member will inadvertently re-traumatize a Duckling
This last one is a very real risk that most people don’t think about – particularly when I run into a someone *usually with the best of intentions*, who thinks that their particular experience with kids (whatever it might be) trumps what I know about MY Ducklings. It doesn’t
Let me be very clear: You DON’T know more about my kid than I do. You DON’T have some special insight that gives you license to veto whatever parameters I’ve set. You don’t have to like my rules. You don’t have to understand them. But you do have to follow them if you want to have a relationship with my Duckling.
Unless your experience involves foster children, RAD, FAS, ODD and infants or children with PTSD and anxiety disorders, your experience is going to be largely irrelevant to parenting and healing my Duckling. (Hint:If you just had to google all those initials, please don’t give me foster-parenting advice.)
That’s not a judgement on your experience or education or intelligence. Just because you’ve changed your own oil doesn’t mean you can rebuild a HEMI. 
If I ask you to do something that you don’t understand, and/or I don’t change it because you disagree, that doesn’t mean I’m questioning your expertise in your field, or minimizing your experience. I’m sure that if I had to do whatever it is that you do, I’d be out of my element. 
I was actually told, “I only know how to be one kind of grandma. If you won’t let me be the only kind of grandma I can be, I just won’t be grandma at all.” Well, okay, then. If your one kind of grandma doesn’t include allowing me to set whatever rules *I* deem necessary for my Ducklings, I guess you just won’t be grandma.

So… this post was kind of inspired by Ann over at Journey to Chaos, and I had planned to quote her Letter to Teachers, but I (surprise) got off on a tangent. But still go read her Letter. Because, yeah. It’s that good.

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FAFQs: What’s the worst part of foster parenting?

Google "questions about foster parenting" and you'll get lots of official pages from child welfare agencies, state governments and foster/adopt charities (and even a quiz about whether you're ready to be a foster or adoptive parent), but I haven't found any "FAQs" that answer the questions that people ask foster parents everyday.

So I started my own!  (Yay!) And I'd love your help!!!

FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions 

Read more »

FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions – Which ones are your’s?

Google “questions about foster parenting” and you’ll get lots of official pages from child welfare agencies, state governments and foster/adopt charities (and even a quiz about whether you’re ready to be a foster or adoptive parent), but I haven’t found any “FAQs” that answer the questions that people ask foster parents everyday.

So I’m starting my own!  (Yay!) And you’re going to help! (I hope)

 
 
FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions
 

Last week we started with a tricky one. Now we’ll cover one that I most often hear it in Wal-Mart from complete strangers, or in the daycare parking lot from people I know just well enough to wave in passing.

The answer is simple, although sometimes it seems to take a few attempts to get it across.

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QWhich ones are yours?**

AAll of them.

 

QNo, I mean which ones are your real kids?

AOh! Ok. All of them. I left all the imaginary kids at home today! 
<In other words, don’t ask this question. Ever. There’s not a polite or appropriate way to ask. All of my foster kids are really mine – at least for now. All of my adopted/biological/step kids are really mine.>

QNo, I mean which is which?

AOh! Why didn’t you say so in the first place? That’s actually none of your business, is it?*
<Because if you’re close enough to our family to be entitled to this information, you’d already know, wouldn’t you?>

 

QWhat? Well, I was just curious. You know, trying to make conversation.

 

AWhat, the weather and baseball were taken?

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*When I have the time, I am generally very open to discussing our family and how SuperDad and I got here. I think it’s very important to educate people about the rewards of foster parenting But when I get “real” parent/child questions, not only do they irritate me beyond all civility, I also have to be very cognizant of what my kids overhear – hurting your feelings is a small price to pay to ensure that they never doubt how much we love them. 

**If it’s obvious that the family to which you are speaking was created in a non-traditional way (such as mine, with three toddlers aged 2 and under – two white, and one black/Hispanic, three white teenagers and two white parents [one of which is definitely not old enough to be the mother of an almost-20-year-old]), and you’re trying to respectfully have a conversation about foster-/adoptive-/step-parenting, you could try “You have a beautiful family!” This shows interest in a way that gives the parent an opportunity to discuss if they choose, but also allows a graceful “Thank you” to suffice if I don’t have the time or interest to fill you in. 

Also, for all you foster & adoptive parents, while I was working on this post, I came across a post at The Chaos and the Clutter. Sharla has a slightly more gracious approach than mine (especially when people are rude).
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Now it’s your turn.

Foster Parents: Tell me in the comments the questions you get asked all.the.time. And your response, if you’ve got a standard. If not, I’m sure I can come up with something sarcastic. 🙂

Not-Foster-Parents: Tell me the questions you’d like to ask, but have the sense not to ask a stranger in Wal-Mart. I consider my readers friends, rather than random, rude strangers – so I promise to answer to the best of my ability with as little snark as possible. 😉

FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions – How can you do it?

Google “questions about foster parenting” and you’ll get lots of official pages from child welfare agencies, state governments and foster/adopt charities (and even a quiz about whether you’re ready to be a foster or adoptive parent), but I haven’t found any “FAQs” that answer the questions that people ask foster parents everyday.

So I’m starting my own!  (Yay!) And you’re going to help! (I hope)

 
FAFQs: Frequently Asked Fostering Questions 
 

So we’ll start with a tricky one that SuperDad and I hear almost daily. It may seem simple, but it’s actually pretty complicated and every foster parent has a different long version. Here’s my short version:

QHow can you do it?

 A: How can I not?


AA
(Alternate Answer): If not me, who?


I Refuse 
~ Josh Wilson
 
Sometimes I, I just want to close my eyes
And act like everyone’s alright, when I know they’re not
 
This world needs God, but it’s easier to stand and watch
I could say a prayer and just move on, like nothing’s wrong
 
But I refuse
 
(Chorus)
‘Cause I don’t want to live like I don’t care
I don’t want to say another empty prayer
Oh, I refuse
To sit around and wait for someone else
To do what God has called me to do myself
Oh, I could choose not to move
But I refuse
 
I can hear the least of these crying out so desperately
And I know we are the hands and feet of You, oh God
 
So, if You say move, it’s time for me to follow through
And do what I was made to do
Show them who You are
 
(Chorus)
 
To stand and watch the weary and lost cry out for help
I refuse to turn my back and try and act like all is well
 
I refuse to stay unchanged
To wait another day, to die to myself
I refuse to make one more excuse
 
(Chorus)
 
I refuse
I refuse

 
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