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Re: Advice-totally off topic


I have no personal experience, so my advice may be worth the paper it's not printed on.

I know a wonderful family who ended up fostering 19 children, including several that they were able to adopt. They stressed that the training and support given by the foster program was invaluable, especially when they started.

One of my young co-workers was one of their fosters. He had a heart condition and died when he was only 18, but he always spoke lovingly about what the family had given him, even knowing that there was no guarantee that he'd live to adulthood. His birth parents gave him up because he had a congenital heart defect, and they didn't want a "damaged" child. Scot was one of the sweetest and most kind young men I've ever met. The whole family bonded to one another, despite the different backgrounds.

I know another couple who had a rough time with a child with FAS. They didn't know about the implications of that and it nearly broke their hearts before they learned that a child with FAS would never become a "normal" socially adapted child.

My cousin adopted two sibs that they fostered after their boys were grown. I don't remember exactly when, but I think it's been about 8 or 9 years. The oldest is ready to enter college next year - with a straight A average. Both of them are sweeties, kind and considerate, volunteering at church and at a local nursing home, helping their adopted grandmother and in general being nice kids. Not that they don't have their vices - they sometimes ride their bikes to the Dairy Queen to talk to their boyfriends when they're supposed to be studying, but it's innocent stuff.

One of our local TV personalities has adopted several kids over the years. When it first became known, in the 70's, it was quite a scandal - a single woman adopting a child! But she's successfully raised several, and has encouraged other singles to adopt.

I think it depends on the child, and on you, and the support services available, but most of the foster or foster to adoption cases I've heard of have had happy outcomes.

Have you talked to the local foster parent program? Is there a local support group? There's no commitment to inquire, and if it's like our local one, the staff and the support groups can give you a lot of guidance.

I regret that we didn't foster or adopt, but family health circumstances didn't work out that way. That may be clouding my opinion, but I think I'd go for it, given the chance.

You already know it's a big, lifetime commitment decision, but as an adopter of dogs, you also understand that adopting a dog is adopting a family member. It's a major commitment measured in decades and $$$, and you don't always get the perfect one. Still, you're helping another being on the planet, and that's a good thing.


----- Original Message ----- From: "andreah" <andreah@hargray.com>
To: <gardenchat@hort.net>
Sent: Saturday, December 27, 2008 5:54 PM
Subject: [CHAT] Advice-totally off topic

Because I value your opinions and experience, I would like some advice from
all of you great people.

For a couple of years now I have considered off and on possibly adopting or at
least fostering a child. ONE child. I know my limits and I do not think I
could handle more than one. Also, I am speaking of an older child. No babies. If I wanted a baby I would have had one. Anyway-there are hundreds that need
homes just in S.C.

Recently, my consideration has taken a turn more towards a "I think I really
want to do this" attitude. I would like to have a family and I don't think
waiting around on a divorced man with children is the way to go about it.
Anyway-I've spoken with some close friends who have three adopted children and
they've given me some great advice, but I value your opinions as well.

At the moment I am not financially ready, even though I know the state helps.
They help to the tune of about $300 a month here which is nothing.

So, advice, opinions, experiences, etc. All would be welcome, good or bad,
yes, or no.

I am giving myself a year to get ready. Unless I change my mind and I don't
think I will, hopefully by this time next year I'll at least be fostering.


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