The Decision To Do Foster

Growing up there were two girls in my class of 100 who were adopted (that I knew of). Nobody in my immediate family did foster care or discussed foster/adoption. So it was never on my radar — nor the radar of my husband.

About three years ago I started volunteering with ‘high-risk’ (female) teenagers. One teen was 17 and had a baby. I was unsure if she would be able to keep this baby as her life was pretty chaotic. Then I heard of a ‘mentor’ who got licensed to do foster care to help these teens out.

I thought that was a novel and selfless idea, and the gears started turning!

I certainly caught my husband off guard when I mentioned getting foster care licensed; nonetheless, he decided to consider it in prayer. After six or more months, he said we could take steps to get our license, but that did not mean we were going to take a placement. I went ahead and started on the paperwork and requirements, and man was it A LOT!

We had to do background checks, fingerprinting, get references, fill out a short novel of paperwork, and get household items like: interconnected smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers, etc., We had to have all of our medicines and essential oils in a locked cabinet or box, and other things like that you would normally not think about.

Mid-way into this process, Josh came to me and said, “Katie, what about this…. what if we decide to quit our jobs and travel for six months instead of getting foster licensed?”

Wow… that was a thought (I thought)! If I caught him off-guard with my request to get foster care licensed, this idea caught me 100 times more off guard. My husband is very stable, very steady, and likes detail-specific plans. So this was very uncharacteristic. I think he was going through a ‘quarter life crisis.’ He started saying things like, “I’m only 28. I’m not even 30. I don’t know if I want kids yet.” (HA — who knew those two magic years between 28 and 30 were so clutch!?)

I am not going to lie, I struggled with this. It took me three months of wrestling and praying over his idea before I said, “Okay! If you want to pause getting our foster license, quit our jobs and travel for six months, then that is what we will do!” He was pretty shocked and surprised by my agreement and wasn’t convinced anymore that it was a good idea. We settled on two weeks in Europe and did not quit our jobs. Thank God!

We pushed ahead to get licensed to do foster care, and after completing the paperwork and 30 hours of classroom training, we were ready to do the home inspection. To pass the home inspection, we needed a crib. In true procrastinator fashion, I waited until last minute to get one, and in my haste of moving furniture around, I dropped a desk on my big toe!

Icing my toe after dropping a desk on it

After hopping around in pain and creatively shouting out made-up curse words, I regained some composure.

If dropping a desk on my toe was bad, assembling the crib was as bad, if not worse. There were so many pieces and parts to figure out, and I had to turn in so many screws by hand that even with the screwdriver, I still got a blood blister!

Blood blister from assembling the crib

Who knew getting licensed to do foster care would be so dangerous?! HA. When the social worker left our house, she said we would likely pass the inspection with flying colors. YAY!

From start to finish, it took us about two years to get our license, and that was okay! I would rather us be certain we want to do this than to take a placement and change our minds. The kiddos experience enough trauma without being moved around from home to home.

Although it was a lot of work and time and prayer and frustration and fear and boredom (sitting through 30 hours of classroom training), the decision to get licensed was a great one, and I would do it all over again. Caring for the needs of a vulnerable child in need is always worth the cost.


Published by KPatt

An outgoing Enneagram 7 who loves to travel, journal, blog, laugh until I cry, take risks, love hard, and live simple. Originally from a small town in Minnesota, I graduated from the University of Minnesota's School of Professional Journalism -- Go Gophers! My husband and I got married and soon after moved to Reno, NV and have enjoyed every moment being out here. In the last 5 years, between getting married, moving halfway across the United States, getting licensed to do foster care, buying a house, and navigating everything in between, I have wanted a forum to tell our story, share Truth, and encourage others with tough lessons we have learned along the way. Thank you for sticking around to read a post or two. If you are encouraged, please share the post, leave feedback, and send me a message! God bless and thanks for being here.

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