What we've been doing during our foster care break

Some foster parents jump right back in, stating they don't want to even be tempted with that life again. Some foster parents say they jump back in because it kills the sting of that broken heart just a little bit. Other foster parents, like us, take a mini break. I cant speak for all foster parents on why or why they don't take a break after a placement leaves but I can tell you that we took a break this time and I can tell you what we've been doing... assuming you care. :)

We've been present in our kids lives. We have really come back to our center and enjoying each other before the chaos begins again, this time in the form of many baseball leagues. We've been working with our budget, different meal planning ideas etc... failing and thriving. And last but not least, we've been discussing our time fostering. What it meant to us, how we felt (all of us, including the kids), what we liked and didn't like and what we plan to do differently next time around. Lets dive into that a little bit more shall we?

After beginning this journey and having our first placement come and go, what does fostering mean to us now?

Bj said being part of a community, which is great and so true because the amount of support and resources available to a foster parent, at least in our area, is fantastic. My answer? Its real. Like, its more than what you read about and its more than anyone can ever tell you about or prepare you for. These are real lives that we are discussing, making plans and decisions for. This is real heart break, laughs and tears. This is real work, 24/7. You love them like your own. You get attached because that's what you are supposed to do. You have little control in any situation and you are okay with that because you get to see, first hand, how amazing and resilient these little people are and the big people that are actually fighting for them. You love them as much and as hard as you can then let them fly, hoping you've done them justice.

How we felt about fostering?

Fostering feels really good, as a whole. We felt like what we were doing, mattered. Raising boys, being good people AND fostering has made our lives so rich and our purpose known. Its hard but its worth it. But more than anything, its seeing what our kids took from this first journey... compassion and love.

What did we like, dislike and what we plan to do differently next time around?

Well, I have to laugh because BJs immediate answer to this was "... I dislike that the caseworkers disregard our age/gender preferences and calls us anyways about placements that are so far fetched for our family!" I have to laugh because it doesn't bother me, we just simply say no. But it is kind of crazy, being called about another newborn when you already have an 11, 3, 19 month and 6 week old! AND a couple of teenage girls, when our toddler room is set up for 2 more small boys! But hey! That's foster care for ya. I appreciate the community and resources available, that you always have someone else close by that are in the trenches along with you. I love the inspiring and motivating text and DMs from friends across the US. I love the feeling of fulfillment I feel and the lessons of unconditional love and compassion that my children are learning. What we are doing differently is increasing our age range from 0-5 to 4-8, still taking boys only due to our rooming situation. We feel like having Bear stay the baby for a little while longer will benefit us all and still keep our busy lifestyle.

We know pure chaos is coming and if you follow me on social media at all, or have talked to me in real life you know that I am scared to death. Our life is busy as is, but something is missing that is fulfilled with fostering, so not fostering is not an option. We are open and willing to try anything and have the ability to say YES!.... but like stated above, foster care is real. There are caseworkers in and out, CASA workers texting to make visit schedules, court hearings that you are notified of a few days before, visitations several times a week. With older children, their trauma is usually much more known and you have therapy, medical, dental appts etc. Its real. And its scary. But that doesn't mean we are shying away, it just means I'm being 100% honest. Isn't that what you know me for? I am learning so much about life and myself, that alone makes this worth it.

And what's the last thing I have been doing during our foster care break? Praying. I've said this a million times but its true, I've talked to God more this past year than in the last 10 years. We have conversations a few times a day about our future plan. Our home has been open for a week, with no call. I am surprised but that just means things are calm and God is working on his plan. Always.

Through Him, we can do ALL the things and THRIVE, which is much more than survive.

Thank you for reading, friend!
~Mika Beggs

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