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The Dirt on Fostering Babies

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Hopping to It: The Dirt on Fostering Babies

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Dirt on Fostering Babies

When it comes to adoption, everyone wants a baby.  A new baby, with little to no history.  A clean start.  People wait a long time for babies.
When fostering, babies are great, sweet and cute, but they come with a price.    Many people foster babies in hopes of adopting.  But there are many things people fail to understand about fostering babies.  Leila is our forth foster baby.  (under 2)

  • When fostering any child, they are not yours.  They tell you to treat your foster children like your own, but in all reality that is not so.  
  • Babies are easy to get attached to.  Really that is the gift you give them, but it will cost you when they leave.  This I am going to leave to a future post.
  • Babies don't sleep.  When you are pregnant, you have nine months to get ready to not sleep.  Your body gets you ready.  When you foster, you are lucky if you have days to get ready.  
  • Babies stink and leak!  Yes come one we all know this.  Weird things come from all holes of their bodies.  This is why God made them little and cute!!  All my little ones spit up bad the first part of their lives, it was not uncommon we were changed a few times a day.  And lets not even talk about what comes from their bottom!!!!!!
  • Babies need to be feed.  Many times a day when they are little.  You have to wash bottles, make bottles, warm bottles, feed them their bottles, and it starts all over!!!
  • Babies need mushy foods...need I say more.
  • Babies need to be changed.  You have to remember to buy diapers, wipes (which come out of your pocket)
  • Babies do a lot of changing in their first few years of life.  So there are a lot of different items needed. Their clothing is always getting small of them and you go through at least 3-4 sizes in just the first year.
  • Babies have a background, a history.  
  • Some times they can leave faster than they came.
  • Did I mention that foster babies are not yours.  This is the key.  When fostering our goal as foster parents to work with DHR to reunite the families.  I believe  there are some foster families who that their goal is to keep the baby.  Until the courts say so, there is nothing a foster family can do except look out for the best interest of that baby.  While our foster babies are still a part of our family, they are not ours, well except Isaiah now cause we adopted him.
  • Your foster baby is shared.  Social workers, transporters, visits with mom and dad and other relatives.  
  • Yes babies don't sleep.  Did I mention this.  As I type I have a 14 month old who does not want to sleep-she has had many bad nights in row.   Hopefully she will finally close her eyes, I can finish this post and goto bed.
It is hard when you invest so much of your love, and energy into a baby.  I have had some foster parents tell me that is just not for them.  Foster babies is not for everyone.  Babies will come and go.  Heart will be broken.  So why foster them?

To make a difference.  To hold them and love them.  To nurture them.  To give them a strong beginning of life.  While I can not treat them just like my biological child, come pretty darn close.  Our biological child, Robby, was breast feed for the first 17 months of his life.  He also slept in bed with us.  Our foster babies don't get breast feed, but we try to make feeding time special.  And they sleep in our room the first year, then due to DHR rules we have to move them out.  Our babies get carried in a sling as much as possible.
To make a difference in a tiny life.  That is why I like to foster babies.  Please don't get me wrong, I like the older ages to, but babies have my heart.  
Their smile, first time rolling over.  Sitting up and then those first few steps.  The babbling and then words!  How could they not take your heart away?

But just remember.....babies grow up to toddlers and preschoolers...and those are hard years!!!!

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At June 1, 2010 at 6:33 AM , Blogger AP mama said...

Thank you for this post!! We will (hopefully) soon be starting on this journey, getting our feet wet by doing respite care.
I am preparing my poor soft squishy heart for the heartbreak of taking care of a little one who is not my own, who can be taken back at a moment's notice... Whew!!!
Prayerfully, God will use us for this work for His glory and honor.
God will bless you and your family abundantly for the differences you have made in your children's lives!!!


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