Monday, January 21, 2013

Will We Foster Again?

It has been 2 months since Artichoke and Zucchini left. I think about them Every. Single. Day. Wondering how they are doing, how much they have grown and what funny things they are saying. But every day since they have left, I have asked myself the same question: will we foster again? And apparently I'm not the only one wondering this since so many people have asked us this since the boys left. The short answer: I don't know. 

The more accurate answer: We have absolutely no clue. We want to in the idealistic sense, but it doesn't seem "right" in the realistic sense. Which is clearly a problem. But even the bigger problem is that nothing feels "right" right now, even what we are currently doing. So there is a long list of pro/cons that don't ever seem to help me figure out what that answer should be. Ugh!  

I think our decision is definitely complicated by the fact that we got a trial run at parenting. Most other people just decide if they want a kid and if they do then they start getting busy. But now that we've had a glimpse into the world of having kids, being parents, dealing with the foster care system, and everything else we went through in those 6 months with Artichoke and Zucchini, we feel like we are back to square one and more clueless than ever. So here's a glimpse into my current pro/con list., but first some warnings.

Warning #1- I change my gut feeling almost hourly. Unfortunately that's not an exaggeration. So if it looks like I'm leaning in one direction it probably isn't accurate anymore.

Warning #2- This is not our pro/con list.  The hubby looks at things completely different than me (not so shocking for those of you that know him). Once we each have some more clarity, we are going to try to make a plan for us.  Thank God Rudy doesn't get a vote!

Question #1:  Do you want kids?

A:  No-  Man, they are a lot of work.  Like a whole bunch of work.  And our simple life is pretty nice. Although, what would fill with my extra time? We aren't the globe-trotting type and I don't really have that many hobbies, so what would I do?

B:  Yes-  They are cute.  And I don't really feel like our family is "complete".

So I think for today at this moment, my answer is: I would like to have kids in my life.

Question #2:  How would you like for kids to come into your life?

A:  Biological children, fondly referred to "vag kids" in our house! 
B:  Foster kids
C:  Adoption
D:  Fulfilling the role of "Aunt" and "Uncle" to friends' kids

This is where things get VERY complicated.  So let's take each answer and review the pro/con list.

Pro's of Vag Kids
  • Clean slate as in they weren't abused or neglected or drug exposed
  • We would be free to parent as we choose
  • There is the potential they would be mini-me's of my hubby- so cute!
  • Family, friends, and colleagues know how to support you since most of them have had kids
Con's of Vag Kids
  • I have a very unique medical background which leaves doctors completely unsure of how my body will react if I'm pregnant.  Best case- my gall bladder would be removed, which is apparently a pretty common procedure done on pregnant ladies.  Worst case- my life would be endangered, emergency surgery would be necessary and we would have to chose between me and the baby
  • We could have fertility problems- you never know!
  • You are stuck with them for 18 years, but really forever
  • They are expensive
  • They will have horrible vision since both me and hubby are blind as bats
Pro's of Foster Kids
  • All of the reasons that got us into this in the first place.  Living our passion.
  • They are temporary.  The average stay in our county is 2.5 years
  • They aren't as expensive since we receive monthly stipends and daycare is paid for
  • Instant baby- We could probably have a baby in our home within a month or two
Con's of Foster Kids
  • Constantly living under the rules of "the system", which can be annoying on a daily basis and get you in quite a pickle
  • Struggle with "the system" that never very rarely follows its own policies (or sometimes even laws
  • Documenting your entire life: behaviors, stories told, injuries, every medication (prescription or over-the-counter) given to the child and the list goes on and on
  • Being pulled into the drama of the case and the uncertainty of the child's future to guarantee their best interest is at the forefront of every decision that is made
  • Support system is limited since not everyone is foster-friendly
  • Need a job with considerable flexibility in order to attend the plethora of meetings and court dates
Pro's of Adoption
  • I wouldn't die in the process of getting a baby
  • Cleaner slate- weren't abused or neglected or exposed to drugs on the outside of the womb
Con's of Adoption
  • Expensive
  • Did I mention how expensive it is?
  • The process takes a long time, sometimes years, and is its own roller coaster
  • There is a lot of competition for infants and I'm not sure we'd be comfortable adopting an older child unless they were our foster child
Pro's of Aunt/Uncle-ing
  • We could keep our freedom
  • Our friends would love us for babysitting and taking their kids on adventures
Con's of Aunt/Uncle-ing
  • We have been doing this to some extent with our friends' kids already and yet still were pulled to foster parenting because I don't think that was "enough" for us
  • You are always the weird creepy people without kids who show up to neighborhood events, kids' birthday parties, etc.
There you have it!  Or we could always just get another puppy and move to Europe. Now there's an idea!


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