Foster Parents for Six Months. Hear their Feedback through the Start of their Journey.
Having a child placed in your home for the first time is a big change. Penny and Andrew have been fostering with Embrace for 6 months, and 4 1/2 months ago had siblings placed in their home. Like many people considering becoming foster parents, Penny and Andrew had apprehensions: “Can I handle it? Will we bond? How can we let them go?” After exploring options for both fostering and adoption they made the decision best for their family. “Foster care just clicked for us. We felt a calling, we knew it would be scary and sad but somehow we found peace with the thought of contributing to changing a child's life.”
Like any big change in a couple’s life, having the support of one another and family is very important. As partners, Penny and Andrew have found that they need to share their feelings and express themselves in a non-judgemental space. “This is an emotional experience, so you need someone to talk to as you go through the journey. Since we both work full time, we support each other in the day-to-day routines: drop-offs, pickups, homework, etc.” As for Penny and Andrew’s extended family, “They have all been amazing. We have had their encouragement through the process of getting certified. And they have embraced our 2 children placed with us by welcoming them into the family. Our families have passed down clothing, toys, and advice to make sure we have everything we need to be successful.”
As to be expected, Penny and Andrew had to adjust their day-to-day life with two small children in their home. “The biggest challenge has been the initial acclimation: No daycare, no school, doctor appointments while trying to balance our work life.” It took the family a little time to find a routine that worked for them, but once they did everything fell right into place. Penny and Andrew found one of the biggest challenges to be the unknown, “Trying not to get too attached to the children, losing some power in planning your life, and giving so much of yourself not knowing where it will go or when it will end.”
Although there have been challenges and adjustments for everyone, they have already seen how fostering a child is a very rewarding experience. “It's rewarding knowing we're giving them a life with opportunities and watching them excel. Honestly, the most rewarding moment was when the older child told me ‘thank you for taking care of me,’ and giving the child things they never had before like a bedroom.” Andrew and Penny have faced all the challenges together with the support of their families and the Embrace TFC family, and are being rewarded with a gratifying experience of love, compassion and family.