Sunday, June 2, 2013

Things you miss out on as a foster/adopt parent.....baby showers

I was at a baby shower today, it was beautiful and lovely and everything that a baby shower is supposed to be.  At first I was enjoying myself, then came gift time.  Everyone sat around and ooohed and aaahed over all the cute little baby clothes and strollers and baby blankets.  I was beginning to feel a little bitter......well a whole lot of bitterness and jealousy and self pity to be honest.  I didn't get to have any of that, no baby showers, no frozen meals delivered to my door those first few weeks, nobody offering to watch the kids so I could get a shower that didn't involve the precision and organization of a prison warden.
I understand the dilemma of throwing a shower for the foster/adopt momma.
  • You don't know for sure what age or gender may be coming your way
  • There is no guarantee that any child coming into your home will be staying
  • There is no telling when a child may come, it could be hours after licensing or years
  • The whole thing makes some people really uncomfortable
  • Trying to do a shower after the children are officially adopted means they have been in the home for at least 6 months probably longer, so the reality is the parent doesn't need that much
  • Trying to do a shower after the initial placement is generally a bad idea due to all the attachment and bonding that needs to happen and momma's don't usually have a lot of extra time to be gallivanting off to showers
I get it, I really do!  BUT a baby shower is still one of those life events that every momma wants to have regardless of if the child coming through the door is a twelve year old boy.  I was venting my frustration on a facebook page for other moms and was surprised that several foster moms HAVE had friends throw them a shower!  I was also surprised at the number of moms who have felt the same way as I have and are still bothered and hurt years later, especially when sitting through a lovely shower.

Shortly after my boys came I received one card, it was from a dear mother of one of my best friends growing up.  She included a check and told me to pick something out for the boys.  That one gesture means so much to me even today.

So what can you do for the foster or adoptive momma near you:

  1. If you know someone preparing to become a foster or foster/adopt mom, throw a preparation party to help them get what they need.  Offering to take an age range of 0-8 creates a WHOLE lot of things that need to be available!
  2. When a placement arrives, offer to run to Walmart and pick up any last minute needed supplies for kids or momma!
  3. Bring over some meals when a placement arrives OR leaves!  Having kids leave your home is HARD, regardless of the fact that we signed up for this....we still grieve their loss, they were a part of our family no matter how short their stay.
  4. Just because a foster mom drops off the planet for awhile when a placement comes DOESNT mean she doesn't need you, those first few weeks can be stressful and hectic as everyone adjusts.  Send notes, emails, fb messages and don't be offended if you don't get a response.
  5. If and when kids are officially adopted, ask the parent how you can recognize this special day.  Some kids may love a party and gifts, but remember their adoption though joyful may also be painful as they have essentially "lost" a part of their family too.
  6. Always ask what you can do and DONT accept nothing as an answer.  I know for me it is difficult to accept help or even weed out who is really offering and who is just being polite :)

6 comments:

  1. AMEN! I love when people get this and then throw the party! I have been b-l-e-s-s-e-d by my family and friends, they threw me an foster shower when I started fostering and two showers after the adoption of my daughter was finalized. I pray others can experience the joy of being showered.:)

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  2. I totally am feeling this! When my brother and SIL went through the process to adopt, they got a call for a possible placement and their church gave them a shower and really helped get them ready. I don't have that and will never have that. Its one more thing that makes this journey to be a single foster parent feel so lonely. This and buying a crib were my two triggers of feeling like I must be crazy for doing it on my own. But then I get reminded that God blessed me with resources that enabled me to be a single parent so I can't complain too much ;)

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  5. Hey, does anyone have ideas for what to tell others who are wanting to throw you an adoption shower when fostering to adopt? My husband and I will probably finish up licensing next month, and a couple of ladies from our church have asked if they could throw us a baby shower of sorts. The tricky thing is, we are being licensed for 1-2 children ages 0-5 of either gender, so we really won't have any idea what we need until we get a placement. I don't want to waste their money if they buy the wrong aged items, but I don't want to put them off either since we will need things (we don't have any other children). Any suggestions? I like the idea of calling it a "preparation party."

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