Today my friend and foster Mom, Jeanette Schoonover joins me for an peek into foster care. She shares honest, insightful answers. Grab a cup of coffee, read, be encouraged and be sure to answer a question in the comments!
1. What made you decide to go into foster care?
We decided to go into foster care by God’s prompting. We felt that we were to foster to adopt from the very beginning. We chose to foster first then adopt because our home state WV has a rule that a child must be fostered 6 months before adoption proceedings can began
2. What is the best thing about foster care?
The best thing about foster care is that the child is removed from harms way and set hopefully in a safe house for a short time.
3. What is the worst thing about foster care?
The worse part of foster care is the system itself. A child can sit in foster care for a long time before being adopted. Fifteen months is supposed to be the cut off and it is pushed to find placement for the child/children.
4. What do you wish you could change about foster care?
I wish I could change the waiting on both sides. The child is waiting with no ideas of who may be interested and future foster parents wait to be prepared for the child. The system of lengthy paperwork, classes, home preparation, and interviews must happen before a child/children may be matched with future foster parents. During this wait time the child/children wait for months or years before ever being adopted. The future parents wait in hopes of having a child to bless with a better life.
5. What has surprised you about fostering?
The surprise of fostering is that the foster child/children may never get adopted. There is over a hundreds of thousands of kids in the foster system that need a permanent loving home.
6. What sorts of ways did you educate/prepare yourself for fostering to adopt?
As a future foster parent I prepared myself with instruction that deals with trauma and cognitive behavioral instruction taught by Dr. Karyn Purvis at an “Empowered to Connect” seminar, her books, and Dvds. I also read The Connected Child. by Dr. David Cross and Dr. Purvis, (including a workbook by Michael Monroe). My husband and I also joined an adoption support group called Positive Adoption
7. What advice would you give parents thinking about fostering or adopting?
For anyone that is thinking of fostering or adopting, they should bathe it in much prayer, study, and thought. You should prepare to deal with your past, the present and study to be prepared for the future. Don’t take this lightly; it is the child’s heart and life that is being weighed in the balance.
8. What was it like meeting your foster child for the first time?
The first time I met our foster child was through a photo and then later in person. When we (my family and I) saw him with our eyes, we knew he was our son. God picked him for us just as we had asked him to. God led us to him and has empowered us to connect (with His Word and resources).