• Lily May

In Which I Talk About Foster Care (Part One)

The reason I say "part one" is that I have a lot to say on this topic.

Probably more than any of you want to hear.

Foster care is something deeply implanted in my heart. My family has been a licensed foster family for two and a half years. Over that time period, we've had three placements and four beautiful little boys on loan to us. Our first placement was in the fall of 2019, for an almost-2-year-old. He stayed with us for three weeks and went back to his biological parents on the day before his second birthday. Our second placement began three weeks before the COVID-19 lockdown started, in early 2020. This beautiful 8-month-old boy (and my baby forever <3) stayed with us for two amazing months before going to his grandparents' house in the spring. I loved both of these children immensely, but baby K, our second placement, has a place in my heart to this day...and that will probably never change. (He is the baby in the picture on the front of this page.)

In late October 2020, we got a call for two baby brothers--Z, and 11-month-old, and H, a two-week-old. We were only licensed for one, but we said yes anyways.

The boys have now been in care for 520 days. That is an extremely long amount of time for a child to be bumping around, property of the state. The sad news is, this is the case for most foster children. These boys are no exception.

Z is now two years old, and we're discovering how much that first eleven months in a neglectful home can do. He throws tantrums beyond what the terrible twos normally shows. His speech is far, far behind other children of his age, probably due to the fact that not many people looked him in the eye and talked to him for the first year of his life. But we also see how far he's come; in a good mood, he laughs and giggles and finds joy in everything from his many stuffed elephants to the lights turning on and off in our kitchen. He is such an observant child, and he loves to pore over detailed pictures or toys. He loves water, and gets so excited when it's bathtime!

H is almost a year and a half. Because he only spent two weeks out of our home, he doesn't know any different. A constant copycat of whatever his brother finds, he loves to explore. He loves people and knows just how to draw attention when he wants it. Books are his very favorites, and he can spend half an hour making you read all of his favorite picture books over and over again! His little kisses and smiles bring joy to all around him. :)

So, what happens from here? We hope and pray that these boys will be adopted, and our family is more than willing to do so. We love these boys and want the best for them! However, adoption is a very long process, and can take years to finalize, even at this stage. Their official goal has been changed to adoption, but this isn't the end of the road nor does it mean that we know what the outcome will be. In fact, very little changes.

What is foster care, you ask? What exactly does it mean for kids to be in care? You're not the only one. Almost everyone who knows our family has asked us questions about the process or its meaning. That's what I want to do--enlighten the world to what foster care is, to the amazing need out there, to the pain and heartbreak but immense joy of being part of this journey. I'll share more about the actual logistics and facts of foster care in Part Two.

For now, I'll share some links to other posts that I've been a part of or that a friend has done about foster care:

Frequently Asked Questions About Foster Care

My Testimony (while baby K was with us)

Guest Post Questions: Lilac & Ramble

Foster Care Life; Emily's Testimony

what are some questions that you have about foster care? do you have experience with the foster care system?

Toodeloo, friends!

~Lily May

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