Why I Want to Foster/Adopt

I've mentioned before that hubs & I are currently in the process to become foster parents. Our hope is to do "foster-to-adopt." This means that we are opening our home to children in the foster care system, with no guarantee how long they will be with us, but with the hope of becoming a "forever family" for a child/children who cannot stay with their birth families.

This post is my attempt to explain my viewpoint. PLEASE NOTE- I'll say "I" and "personally" a lot in this post, because I'm talking about the way I feel and think. I realize other people have different views and while I scoff at some of those in this post...that's my perspective. I'm allowed to disagree and people are allowed to disagree with me- I'm just trying to show people my perspective. This is my blog, this is my safe place, and I don't need to be told I'm being rude...I know my viewpoint is the minority and that's exactly why I'm sharing it.

I've wanted to adopt since around middle school/junior high. It's truly something that has always seemed pretty basic to me. But at least 90% of the people I talk to do not share this "NBD" feeling...at all. In fact, most of them blatantly say "Oh I couldn't/wouldn't do that" or "But...why?"

To be honest, I really feel like that is an ignorant question. I know, I know, that's not fair. Our culture does not value adoption, and has a very small definition of family.

I don't share that small definition, so maybe that's why it seems like a fairly easy decision for me. I know first hand that blood does not mean someone will be there for you- my biological father has proven, for over a decade now, that shared blood doesn't even promise a phone call. If shared DNA was all that was required, adoption wouldn't exist in the first place.

But really what I hear the most is "Well I could just never love a child the way I love my child."


In my opinion, if what makes your child special and lovable is the blood that you gave them- then you do not love your child. You love having an extension of yourself. I personally believe this is a really problematic view of being a parent.

Yes, it's part of being a parent...but I personally feel that it's incredibly important to view each individual as an individual. Yes, maybe you carried that child for nine months- and that's a bond.

But I argue that it's is the unique shared experience of pregnancy rather than the pregnancy itself that helps form a parental bond.

Again, obviously, if pregnancy and birth was all it took 1) adoption wouldn't be necessary; 2) postpartum depression and other issues also wouldn't exist). Yes, you changed diapers and had sleepless nights...but again, that's a shared experience. I don't see how you could have similar experiences with any child, biological or not, and not end up loving that child. I just...don't. Will it be different? Possibly- maybe even probably. But every child is different, every family is different, and love does not have to be exactly the same to be equally meaningful. In my opinion.

But the other thing I hear is almost the opposite which is "It would just be too heartbreaking to have a child come into my home, get attached, and then have them leave." Again...ugh.

Yes, that is going to be heartbreaking. And it's almost a guarantee when fostering. 

But when I think of my heartbreak over a child sitting somewhere alone and feeling unloved...I can't put my heartbreak, as an adult with knowledge and resources and a support system, over the heartbreak of a child without a family. That's not the person I want to be. And I recognize that I am in a privileged position to even consider that. Some people probably truly could not handle it (and there are multiple situations we have put into writing that our family cannot take on)...but it feels worth the risk to me.

I want to be the kind of person who takes that risk.

My Christianity also comes into play here, in a huge way. Taking care of orphans is one of those things that most people would say is a moral thing to do, but almost no one actually does anything about it. Christians are specifically commanded multiple times in the Bible to care for this community- and for the most part we fail, over and over, every day just like our non-Christian neighbors.

This post by Tricia Goyer, The Sad News About Adoption in Our World, says a lot of this better than I ever could.

There are a ton of bad things in our world. The last two years have routinely been called a dumpster fire. I can't change the world...but love a child? Oh yes. I can do that.

Add It To My List: March 2018

 Link-up creators are Lauren from Eat, Drink, & Be Lauren and Bre from Bre Writes. Basically, they are always recommending things to each other- podcasts, television shows, music, blah blah blah. And they figured- why not share even further?

  • This twitter thread from Linda Tirado which talks about the psychology of being poor and the transition to middle-class. As someone who grew up relatively poor (family was on Food Stamps & had Medicaid for health care), and is know kinda not poor (own a home, vehicles, pay for my own food & insurance, score?)...this almost made me cry. I mentioned previously that hubs & I have a halfway plan to get out of debt. Like...within the next two years if not one year. And in a way I'm terrified, because I STILL DON'T KNOW HOW TO NOT BE POOR. The idea of savings and future and all is just still so damn hard for me to grasp, and I've never seen or heard anyone talk about it before but holy fuck she put it into words and YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES
  • This podcast from Girls Girls Podcast- talks about the anxiety from social media, but also about reframing the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the wake of the #MeToo movement.  
    • This is the Vanity Fair article referenced. 
  • This podcast from Delete This, which is a podcast where Hank Green and his wife Katherine go over his twitter feed from the last week. Which sounds terrible, but it's suprisingly great (mainly because Katherine cares nothing about social media or fame and it's lovely- even if I can't tell her because she doesn't care). Mainly the first five minutes, because it's the first tweet they discuss where Hank talks about his privilege and safety net growing up and acknowledging how helpful that is and yeah...it was just nice to hear acknowledged and also maybe helpful for people who have that net but don't think about those who don't. 
  • Why Representation in Media  Matters (To Me) by Emily Hornburg
    • A beautiful piece about 1) representation of OTHER PEOPLE being okay, and 2) the different ways we can relate to media and how it doesn't have to be an exact match to be meaningful.

    What's on your list this month?

    Adulting as Self-Care

    In one of my bullet journaling groups, someone made a commenting about viewing chores and other responsibilities as self-care.

    The idea is that while these things can seem annoying, frustrating, and intimidating...you deserve the results. 

    You deserve to have lights and working refrigerators and a car that runs because you put air in the tires and got the oil changed.

    And while I have concerns about the push of self-care and how that can be just another thing to stress about, I really like this school of thought.

    These things can sound silly, but re-framing the way we view things can really make a huge difference in quality of life.

    So instead of looking at these things like something you have to do...that you shouldn't have to do, I'm going to try re-framing it.

    These are things I get to do, for myself. These are steps in a process, that ends with me having helpful things and being in a good place.

    Grocery shopping used to drive me crazy- but I love having food readily available and not scrambling at the last minute to run to the store or come up with a recipe off the top of my head.

    I dislike cleaning...but I love the feeling of a clean house, and knowing I have at least a few days until the pressure to do it again creeps back.

    I don't like giving up my lunch breaks to study for midterms...but I love spending my time at home with my family...or in my bed, rather than over the books.

    I deserve all these things, and I want to start giving them to myself.

    Putting Down Roots

    Photo by Kevin Young on Unsplash

     A few weeks ago something weird happened. We went to go get new tires for my husband's vehicle, and the guy at the counter asked if we had been there before. My husband said yes, and gave his name; the worker pulled up the account on the computer and said "Oh, is it for X vehicle?" He listed the color & make of the car, and said "No problem, it will cost $Y amount just like last time."

    At first glance, this may not seem like a big deal. It probably happens to most people every few years. But for us, it was huge.

    We moved 5 times in 6 years. We moved within states, and across the country. We moved with larges groups, like an army unit (literally) and to places where we knew no one. And every time we moved, we had to start certain things over.

    Find a job. Find a doctor. Find a mechanic. Find a grocery store. Find a library. It's a lot.

    And to be honest, even though it's been around 5 years since we have settled...I'm still not used to the idea of being settled. It's still a surprise every time someone remembers me, or that I can give directions around town.

    When I visit my hometown, I cringe at the idea of going to Walmart because- if we're being totally honest- I have almost no friends there...just lots of people my family knows/I used to know. Last trip, we ran into some of Hubby's extended family members twice within an hour- at the parking lot of one store and at the checkout line of the next store. Small town, indeed.

    When it happens here, I don't cringe but I'm always surprised. Mainly because I am so used to not belonging.

    It's very, very odd. It's odd every time someone offers to help, or accepts ours. It's odd every time someone is genuinely happy to see us at the store or we figure out a way all our different social circles overlap. It's good, don't get me wrong. I'm just...not used to it. 

    And I'm kind of scared to trust it. Because I know how easy it can be lost.

    But also because I never really had it before. I mean, I kind of had it in my hometown but I always felt itchy there.

    I was a square peg in a round hole, or vice versa- I just didn't fit. 

    So the idea that I am slowly beginning to fit...well, I just don't know quite know what to do with it.

    Current Thoughts: March 2018

    • Hubs & I recently tried Ancestry DNA. The results were a little unexpected at first! Mine came back basically what we had thought his would be- to the point I really would have thought the samples got mixed up- except it linked him to known family members. I had only a tiny idea about what mine would say, but it's interesting. The gegoraphical regions are somewhat contestable and random- Hubs was wondering where in the world his known German heritage was but then saw that it was included in both of the geographical regions he belonged too, but not as a primary.  Hardly exact, but a fun starting point. 

    Other people's opinion of you are none of your business.
     This was a line from a quote shared at my workout the other day, and I can't get it out of my head. Love, love, love. I'm come to realize that what we think of others typically reflects way more about us than about them, and this line sums that up perfectly.

    • I feel like there is too much hyperbole going on in the news and politics right now- by both sides. Yes, there are drastic things going on. But outrage often begets outrage and passion overshadows rationality. I'm not saying do nothing, I'm not saying scale back...but everything is drastic all the time, nothing is actually viewed as drastic. Let's channel outrage into logical, optimistic action. Treat others as you want to be treated- treat them the way you want them to treat others- lead by example. Even when they are wrong...maybe especially if they are wrong

    • The weather here is being super teasing. It was a beautiful 75 last weekend. Met a friend at the used bookstore, she came with Babycakes & I to the park afterwards...it was gorgeous and hopeful and apparently I am turning into a summer person? Now we have a winter weather advisory and I'm done.

    •  I'm finally catching up on Dr Who, thanks to a lengthy trial Amazon Prime membership (yay, student discounts)! OMG, so glad Clara's run is finally over...BLAH. Loving Bill & Nardole, so much more fun. 

    • Babycakes is currently very into the color pink & hearts. I blame Valentine's Day- she was SO HAPPY with all her Valentine's Day treats! Cute but also very not me, so interesting.

    • While I like to think of myself as an Amy Pond, this episode of the Verity Podcast really makes me feel like I might be a Rose...because I swear they are talking about me. 

      What's up with you lately?

      Show Us Your Books: March 2018

      It's been a pretty good reading month! I've gotten into the habit of getting up early to drink my coffee and read...my house is messier (that's my normal cleaning time) but my soul is happier.

      With that, let's get to the books.

      I enjoyed this. It's about Christianity from a definitely modern and liberal slant. But it delved into some history and went into things like the sacraments which I have been wanting to learn about. I could have used even more of that, honestly (it was a chapter). Being the nerd that I am, I LOVED that each chapter had 3-5 questions at the end, which I used as journal prompts kind of each morning.

      A lovely and wonderful fictional family drama. It really reminded me of different personalities within my own family, and felt so relateable. 100% right up my ally and I loved it.

      I feel like parenting books automatically make some people go "Nope." And obviously I can't give my children the same type of solid, cohesive community that the Amish have (although it honestly reminded me a lot of the cohesion that was referred to in France in Bringing Up Bebe). But by the end it was really more about learning about the Amish lifestyle, which I really enjoyed and got into. As someone who shares a lot of the Christian values mentioned, I loved how dedicated they were to their beliefs and how they put faith into action. In this day and age of hypocrisy and flip-flopping and news/opinion overload, it was beautiful to read about that type of dedication.

      Pandemonium and Requiem by Lauren Oliver
      I read Delirium last year (?) and enjoyed it. Truthfully, just needed a somewhat "easy" read, and reading about any kind of Resistance is kind of awesome right now. Yes, casualties always occur...but hope and durability are powerful things.

      What have you been reading this month? 
      Link-up & let us know!
      Life According to Steph

      I Never Have It All

      Some days, I am a hot mess- in all aspects.

      Some days, my hair needs washing and dry shampoo just can't hide that fact.

      Some days, I am the only mom who doesn't make Valentine's Day goodie bags for my kids daycare class (I took cookies for the party- didn't know goodies bags for ONE YEAR OLDS were a thing).

      Some days, I forget to eat breakfast and get very frustrated with myself for that ignoring a basic human need. 

      Some days, my kid seems to do nothing but tantrum and I loose my cool and tantrum back.

      Some days, I am just a little too late to work for no reason at all. 


      Some days, I wear lipstick and heels and love how I look.

      Some days, I survive the tantrum and have the patience to help my kid learn how to do chores and she doesn't ask for the TV once.

      Some days, the barista at Starbucks makes my drink perfectly.

      Some days, the temperature gets to 70 and reminds me that summer is coming and things just feel a bit lighter.

      Some days, I manage to get a 99 on a quiz that I completed at work so I didn't have to sacrifice family time.

      No one ever really has it all- at least not on the same day. But some days...I get really, really good stuff. 

      Three Things: Nerdy Things

      1. I am a proud Ravenclaw. I appreciate that they aren't just the smart house, but also the quirky house.

      2. My favorite era of Dr. Who is 11+Ponds (all the Ponds).

      3. Nerdy characters I have often been compared to include: Rory Gilmore & Hermione Granger (love of learning), Monica Geller (control-freak & organizer), Temperance Bones (very literal and rely on statistics and facts when I get emotional).