Saturday, June 4, 2011

Foster care questions I have been asked

Out of respect for your right to give zero fucks about this whole foster care thing, I'll do my best to remember to put the word "foster" in the title of posts about it. Feel free to skip those. But come back and read the other ones, or go through my archives or something. I love you. I NEED YOU.


Anyway. Here are the questions I get asked when I reveal (usually in a dramatic way, like through a puppet show) that Andy and I have started this progress, with the answers:

Q1. WHY?!
A1. Because we can. Nyah, nyah. Better answer: We are at that stage where kids aren't out of the question, and this is a way to try out parenting without developing cankles and stretch marks and crying about ice cream, or whatever pregnant ladies do. Even better answer: The work I did at the shelter alerted me to the fact that there are some fucking awful foster homes (that's four links, but I suck at internetting and am lazy) out there. We can provide a safe, loving home for a kid who needs it, so they don't have to be in a horrible foster home.  That's all.

Q1b. Why not have one of you own? (I'M NOT KIDDING, SOMEONE ASKED ME THIS.)
 A1b. Not that it's any of your fucking business, family friend who asked, but we haven't ruled that out as a possibility. We both like the idea of helping kids who need it more than we like the idea of a little Rachael-Andy hybrid, so we're doing this to start out. Idon't know what will happen later. Because I haven't perfected my psychic abilities yet.

Q2. Won't you have to give the kid back?
A2. It depends on a whole lot of different factors, but probably. We can specify (eventually, much later in the process) that we only want kids who are more likely to be adoptable, but we haven't decided if we want to do that or not.

Q3. Won't it suck to give back a kid you've had for a long time?
A3. Yes, asshole. Of course it will.

Q4. How will you deal with giving a kid back?
A4. The average placement in our county is a year. Having to give a kid back, possibly to a less-than-ideal-but-no-longer-technically-dangerous situation, after raising him or her for a year? I would predict (COME ON, PSYCHIC ABILITIES) that I will deal with that with a combination of crying and alcohol. Probably gin, because that goes so well with salty tears.

Q5. When will they give you a kid?
A5. Whoa, there, cowboy. Slow it down. It's a lengthy certification process:
  • Initial informational meeting [CHECK]
  • Application [CHECK]
  • Weird combination of paperwork and other stuff like fingerprinting, background checks, physicals, and probably a metric ton of forms to fill out (which we'll learn more about at our home visit)
  • Ten weeks of three-hour-long classes
  • Home study (mostly to ensure that you lock up things like guns, chainsaws, and medications. Looks like I need to rethink my nursery theme)
This means we need to get everything else lined up if we want to start our ten weeks of classes with the next session, which starts in July. If that all happens (fingers crossed) we'll be done with the classes and eligible for certification in September.

Q6. How do you know what to buy, if you don't know what age/sex(/location) the kid you get will be?
A6. Short answer: we don't. We already have a bed and a dresser, and we'll get a crib before the end of the certification process; we have smoke alarms and a first aid kit and fire extinguisher. We have friends with kids and know about Craigslist, so we're pretty confident we'll be able to get our hands on stuff we need after we end up with a kid.

Q7. How will you feel about getting a kid who doesn't "look like you"?
A7. I have a tattoo and am a fully developed woman, so no baby I ever have, biological or not, will look exactly like me. But we both know the actual question here, you pussy, is "What if you get a non-white??" To which I say: seriously. A kid in need is a kid in need. If we end up adopting a kid who isn't Caucasian, we're willing to do the extra work to help that kid know his or her background as he or she grows up without making it into some sort of obsession or fetishistic game. I'm willing to learn how to style black hair, if needed (this is a big deal, as I was unwilling to deal with spending ten minutes a day on my own mohawk and left it down as often as I put it up). Other than that, really, mostly, kids are kids. Apparently you can specify if you'd rather have a kid who matches your race, but neither of us feel that we're ill-equipped to help a child based on our color. FEEL FREE TO TELL ME ALL THE REASONS THIS IS NAIVE, THOUGH.

What questions do you have? Promise I'll answer them! Probably without cussing at you!


  1. So, this is the first time I have ever been to your site and this is the first post of yours that I have ever read. I read it because of the title of your post and was thrilled to see someone who is going through the process of becoming a foster parent. This delights me to no end. Not a lot of people realize that being a foster parent--and a good foster parent at that--is a big freakin' deal. It is an amazing thing to do and in my most humble opinion, not enough people are doing it. I'm not a foster parent as I am not currently in a place in my life where I would be a good one and I would want to ensure that I would be the best damn parent I could be, but I admire those who see the need for exceptional foster parents and do what they can to fill that void. It really angers me to no end when people decide to become foster parents and are immediately asked about why they aren't just having their own children. Firstly, not everyone in the world can have their own children and if that is the case, that also isn't something that infertile or struggling-to-become-pregnant people really want to chit chat with nosey and obviously emotionally stunted people. Secondly, there are so many kids out there who need families and need a home. A roof over their heads, a bed to call their own, food in their bellies and people who love them. So many kids in this world do not have that and that is one infinitely tragic fact. So yes, I'll stop with this novella, but I just wanted to tell you that you're doing something super awesome and good luck with the process!

  2. What an incredibly awesome comment. Thanks a lot for the kind words. And not to contradict you, but your life situation might not preclude you from becoming a foster parent yourself!