Certified Parent

Well…we just had our last environmental inspection of our home to make sure everything is good to go for our future foster kids. Once the state is done with all the paperwork, we’ll be certified parents. Yep.

I find it interesting that we have gone through so much to be able to care for other’s children, yet the normal couple has to do none of these things. But let me stop right there. I do realize there is a difference between what we’re doing, normal healthy parenting, and then the type of parenting that isn’t conducive to a normal or healthy upbringing for a child. I’m not discrediting good parents by any means.

What this goes to show is how easy it is to be a lackadaisical parent and how tough it is to be a proactive parent. (Remember…we don’t have children so much of this stuff is new to us even though I think we’ll be awesome!) It tells me there are days where the parents just don’t have energy to go to the park. Between work, housekeeping, meals, and other various grown up responsibilities, taking care of a child is a TON of work (even when giving the most basic care.)

Did you know that smoke alarms expire? Yeah…so $200 later, we have all new alarms and a carbon monoxide detector. I thought…this is normal house upkeep, but I wouldn’t have known this had it not been for my house having to get a fire inspection. We made a fire escape plan in MS Word and posted it on our fridge. We’ve been to lots of people’s homes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a fire escape plan lol!

Going the extra mile to play with them, talk to them, read with them, to really listen to what they have to say…it all adds up and can seem like a mountain of responsibility. And that’s not having to meet with a child advocate, judges, social services, and the birth parents. Going through the process of making our home ready for kids is a little eye opening to the work parents have to put in to making a house a home.

As usual, I get into my head and think, oh my gosh, this is going to be crazy. Going from no children to possibly 3 is really insane. But, I easily overwhelm myself. I’m sure once we get a child or 3, we will get into a routine and adjust to the changes. This is something all families must do. Like anything that is worth doing, it takes work. Could we be somewhat lazy-ish foster parents? Probably. But that isn’t why we’re doing this so it’d defeat the purpose of pouring time and love into a foster child. Plus, the snuggles are going to make it all worthwhile 🙂

Love each other 🙂

~Jason

Support Systems

Everyone loves a good success story. We get to see someone triumph. We see them overcome adversity, beat the odds, and defy the critics. But often times,  people that help them get there are somewhat forgotten. What if support systems and people behind the scenes were the stars?

I’m not saying that people in the spotlight should be sent to the shadows. What I’m saying is something I’ve taken notice to for quite some time. Do you ever watch award shows? We always see who won best actor and actress awards. We always see what show won best drama or comedy. What we don’t see is who won the music production awards, who won best lighting, or even best writing. These happen during commercial breaks. But these unsung heroes are critical to success.

Ok, that’s a long way to get where I’m trying to go.  Our foster classes have helped to highlight the importance of having a support group. None of us can do anything alone. It doesn’t matter how how much talent you have if no one is behind you rooting you on. Listen to any award acceptance speech and they’ll likely be thanking their parents (among many others)…because support is just that important.

The people around us can either help us achieve goals or completely smash our dreams to bits. If you think about it long  enough you’ll be able to pinpoint times of your life where someone did one or the other.

So I charge you with this: be someone’s hope. Be the encouragement they need. Be the light in their darkness. Be the shoulder they can cry on. Be the super star that’s behind the scenes but makes the whole thing just work. Then watch them shine and be happy of their success.

Be kind to each other 🙂

~J