CB: How did you find Children’s Bureau and why did you choose to foster or foster-adopt through this agency?
We had conducted our initial research online and compiled a list of agencies that we wanted to look at. Ultimately, we chose Children’s Bureau based on an orientation meeting that we attended. Children’s Bureau has a great longstanding reputation in supporting the community and families it serves and has the resources and commitment to supporting us in this journey. Children’s Bureau was the right choice.
CB: What was the process of becoming a resource parent and how long did it take?
Once we decided to become resource parents, it was rather straight forward. We applied and went through the various background checks. CB helped us throughout the process. The process was extensive, but it was also reassuring to know that CB and DCFS were doing their jobs to properly screen families.
CB: What inspired you to become resource parents and how has it changed your life?
Several years into our marriage we discussed having children together and both agreed that adoption was a consideration. Although we weren’t considering fostering, Children’s Bureau’s orientation showed us how resource families were needed, and we took a chance and became approved.
CB: How has Children’s Bureau helped you on this journey?
CB has been a critical resource at every stage and phase of becoming a resource parent. And it is a journey and not a destination. There is a lot of preparation, ongoing education, understanding, compliance and commitment to becoming a valued resource to children.
CB: What were the birth parents/family like and how much contact do you have with them?
With our adopted children, we did not have any birth parent interactions. However, these situations were the exception and not the rule. With the first baby who joined our family through foster care, we had multiple visits during the week with her birth parents and extended family members. These visits started at the beginning of her time with us to the very end when she was reunited with her parents.
CB: What activities/therapies have the children joining your family through foster care experienced?
Speech, occupational and child development services. All the therapies were performed by outstanding professionals. Frankly it was incredibly refreshing to see and experience talented individuals provide such a high-level of care. The professionals that we interacted with were passionate for the care they performed.
CB: How did you manage your and other family member’s feelings when a child went to live with another family?
After the first experience, which was the most challenging of all, we went into each situation knowing that our primary responsibility was to love and care for each child unconditionally. This also meant that there was a good chance
that they would be reunified with their parents, and we needed to be prepared for it. When reunification took place, it was heartbreaking, but we knew that they had our love.
CB: What challenges have you faced as a resource parent and what have you learned?
Fostering is a road less traveled, however, the experiences are magical and transformative. We quickly learned that we could love deeply and forever. And that there is no limit to how much you can love because we realized that we could love our children more by becoming better versions of ourselves. As for challenges, there were many. One of the greater challenges is the loss that comes with returning a child to their birth family, this act can be rather difficult. Not all reunifications feel morally right, but reunification is the goal. Clearly, I am sure, there are many situations where reunification feels right, and it is the right thing to do. As a resource parent you must be prepared to accept these outcomes, whether they feel right or not.
CB: Tell us about your child(ren) today and their interests.
Our children are exceptional to us and to those who get to know them. They have grown to be quite close as new siblings. They love school, their friends, and teachers. They enjoy taking daily walks and interacting with neighbors, dogs, and insects, they love insects! They love riding their bikes and scooters and look forward to week-end hikes and pool time around our neighborhood. They have relationships with many of our neighbors and we often find gifts for them at our doorstep. They are loved.