Author: Julie H., Foster Mom
My last blog was about “hitting the foster jackpot” because everything was going so smoothly with Miss D. We were clean-sailing! But, as with any child whether they are biological, fostered, or adopted, kids will be kids and they will hit some road bumps on their road to adulthood!
This past Saturday my husband and I attended a 4-hour training on co-parenting. This is to teach foster parents how to best work with birth parents so your child has synchronicity with everyone. I summarize it as working together to raise a child. During this training, my husband and I shared our experiences in raising Miss D with the other foster parent participants regarding our BFFs (Big Foster Family) and bio dad. In our foster family, we all communicate with each other, we can call dad and have him support what we are doing or saying (he’s our “ace in the hole”), we get together with the other foster parents and other siblings pretty regularly outside of the required visits, and we feel pretty confident that we have a great extended foster family! Sadly, what we learned is that we are lucky and that this doesn’t happen often, but honestly, we came into this family and these are the things that were already happening, so we just followed everyone else’s lead on it.
So, back to “bumps in the road”. When a non-foster child has a bump in the road, they get talked to by their parents. This would mean maybe 2 people discuss the “bump” and give the consequence. But when co-parenting with such a large group, foster children sometimes get multiple conversations with multiple people! Miss D has my husband, me, her dad, her older brother who gives his opinion, her foster older brothers who give their opinions, and then Miss D will confess to her sibling’s foster moms about the bump, and then those foster moms talk to her! By the end of the “bump”, she’s had 6 adults discuss the “bump” with her! Six! We told this to her school counselor not long ago, and her perspective was that yes, she gets all these discussions, but that means she gets all that support. She gets triple the support that other kids get. I talked to Miss D about all this extra “support” she gets when “bumps” come, and she actually doesn’t mind it. She’s said that she appreciates everyone being on the same page…in good times and in bad. I am grateful for my BFF and Miss D’s dad. It makes raising this amazing girl even easier!