This is a place for us to document our journey as foster parents in Oregon. The idea for the blog came to us after we realized that as brand new parents, we were staying up far too late after our children went to bed. We were constantly staying up talking about all of the thoughts we were having as we become more and more ingrained in the Foster Care System. It felt like nearly every day, we encountered a new experience, oftentimes experiences that are unique to foster parents, but sometimes, experiences relevant to all parents, and experiences relevant to all humans who care about other humans.
As we stayed up too late talking, knowing that our kids would wake us up soon, far before our alarm clocks would go off to make it to work on time, we knew that the conversations we were having were much more important than sleep. We thought that the conversations would slowly taper off over the coming weeks. Eventually, we assumed that fostering children would be our “new normal”, and we could get back to watching our shows on Netflix and going to bed at a decent hour. Instead, the longer we were caring for children, the more we interacted with DHS, family, friends, bio-parents, lawyers, CASAs, judges, etc., the more we realized that these conversations were going to continue.
Some of the conversations we had were very personal, some of them very benign or mundane about how to navigate the system or explain to friends what we were doing, but all of them are important. Eventually, we felt that we should share these thoughts with the world, and hopefully it will provide insight into our lives as foster parents. This is not a “how to” blog, about how to become a Certified Foster Parent in Oregon, DHS is pretty clear about how to make that happen, although it will discuss our experience going through this process. This is not a bunch of writings to evangelize to you to become a foster parent. We are well aware that Foster Care is not for everyone, and that if you do not want to, or cannot, you should not become a Foster Parent.
Finally, we would like to make clear that that this is not a faith based blog. This is not a statement against the many faith-based organizations and care providers who offer support and services to Foster Care providers and Foster Children, it is just to say that this page will not discuss our faith. This page will only discuss our experiences and thoughts from a secular view. Throughout our journey, we have been very aware of the prevalence of faith (mainly Christianity), that is discussed amongst those in the Foster Care community. As a couple not currently associated with an organized religious group, we sometimes found ourselves searching for secular support, but often came up empty handed. We feel like non-faith based resources are underrepresented in this community, and want to provide this page as a resource.
We are certain that there are a significant number of blogs, posts, articles, reports, and documentaries regarding the Foster Care System that are amazing, we just hope to share our experiences with you. At the time of this writing, we have been foster parents for 6-months, and have cared for
4 children 6 children over various lengths of time. Overall, the process to become a certified, non-relative foster parent took us approximately 6-months, and our approval was expedited to allow us to receive our first placement. It is no secret to us that we are very new to this whole thing, and that there are many foster parents out there who have been doing it far longer than us, have cared for many more kids than us, and who may have answers to a lot of the questions we have had. This is just our page to give insight into what we are experiencing on this journey, provide an outlet for ourselves, and hopefully provide others with knowledge and a good read.
Thank you for taking the time to read our posts and be a part of this journey with us. We look forward to hearing from you and hope you gain valuable knowledge from our writing.
Aaron and Jewell
Photo: Ava* and Aaron at the pumpkin patch
*all names have been changed for privacy purposes