I hear the mutterings. Some in our very own families have been rumored to say we are “in this for the money.” If they think that is a possibility, maybe others do as well, so I wanted to take some time to address this head on.
We first considered becoming foster parents in the mid-nineties but were discouraged at that time because we had small children and the needs of kids in care can be very demanding. When a friend’s daughter’s biological sister was in danger of disrupting from her adoptive home in 2010, we considered taking her (and gladly would have if the adoption had actually disrupted) with the goal of keeping her in contact with her older sister. As 2011 began and we saw that the adoption was going to remain in tact, we started to discuss searching for a sibling group in our state. Our goal was to keep a sibling group intact. As a family, we had numerous discussions about what we had to offer. We truly enjoy each other and believed that we had enough love in our hearts to add to our family with he hope of changing children’s lives.
We did know that foster parents are paid a minimal stipend. We knew that foster children receive health insurance through the state. We learned during our trainings that our agency will assist with certain things like clothing, lessons, trainings and mileage. We also learned that most of these things go away upon adoption. None of these facts influenced our decision to pursue an adoption through foster care. We began this process with love and we hope to end the process the same way… with an adoption!
Our desire to add to our family has NEVER been about money. That said, I am not a fool. I am not going to turn down the stipend that will help defray the many expenses we incur parenting these 2 children. I am going to take full advantage of what our agency offers. I spend the monthly clothing allowance for the kids building up their summer clothes since they came with ZERO items for summer. I attend as many trainings as I can to make myself the best foster parent I can be. I will NOT be made to feel guilty that I accept these benefits for the children.
As for those that feel this could EVER be about the money, you either don’t know me or I don’t want to know you! And, THAT is how I feel!
[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]