RED ALERT! It’s happening, people – this is not a drill. We’ve been talking about foster care for years – you know, you’ve been here since the beginning! We took the foster care courses and got certified in 2017, or was it 2016? And then of course about 75 emergencies cropped up (health scares, surgeries, Rick out of town for 4 months, hurricanes and floods, COVID) and prevented us from taking the leap.
But we’re almost there. We just got the final approval that our home is ready to go, so in a few weeks, we’re saying YES to kiddos.
So many decisions we’ve made have lead to this moment. Buying a 4-bedroom house, getting an SUV with 3 rows, bunkbeds, a pool! All these things were done with future fosters in mind.
As you might expect, we’re all over the map with emotions – excited to go from DINKs to parents overnight, sad because only trauma will bring them here, happy that we’ll get to be their safe place to land for a while and scared about how this will change our lives in ways we can’t even begin to imagine.
When we tell people we’re planning to foster, there are always soooo many questions. So I’m answering a bunch of them below in an effort to save my strength and to drop a pin into this moment in time. How we think things are going to go may be very different from how they turn out, and it’ll be interesting to look back on our plans and see if we were right or wrong.
Foster Care FAQ
How many kids are you getting?
We are certified for up to 3 at a time. Rick and I both adore our siblings, so we’re planning to welcome sibling groups when possible so they don’t have to be split up. Three might be too much to handle – we honestly have no idea how this is going to go.
What age / gender / race do you want?
We are planning on fostering kiddos ages 5-10 or so, no gender or race preference. I always imagined us with a rowdy bunch of boys, so we’ll see.
Are you fostering because you can’t have biological kids?
Yikes. I get asked this a lot… by acquaintances and strangers. Which I find super weird because like… the functionality of my reproductive organs feels kinda private to me. At the moment, we aren’t interested in creating children of our own, so that’s all I’ll say about that.
Ok, then why are you fostering?
It’s a calling on our lives. We feel lead to do it, stronger than we’ve felt about anything else in our lives. When God calls you to something, you go for it.
Are we ready? No, I seriously doubt it. But God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called. So we are stepping out in faith and knowing that our Creator is going to make the path clear. I’m probably making it sound way easier than it is, but I have to otherwise I’ll talk myself right out of it.
So, you’re doing it for the money?
LOL. The rate for foster kids in a traditional foster home in Florida is about $16/day. That’s less than $500/month. (Have you been to McDonald’s lately? Ya can’t feed a kid 3 times a day with that rate, much less get them shoes, clothes, etc.)
Kids with special needs in therapeutic foster homes get a larger stipend due to their greater needs, but nobody is getting rich.*
*UNLESS. I think the only way to profit off the foster care system is to accept as many kids as you can fit in your house and then completely neglect their needs so you can pocket the stipend. You’d probably be livid if you knew how many people do this. But it’s obviously not our motivation. We fully expect to spend every bit of the stipend and more on the kids.
Are you fostering because it’s a cheaper way to adopt?
Adoption is not on our radar at all. The end goal of foster care is to serve as a safe place for kiddos whose parents aren’t able to take care of them for whatever reason, and then to reunite the parents with their kids after they work their case plan. That’s what we’re planning to do. But we don’t have a clue what the future holds, so we are open to whatever comes our way.
Aren’t you worried about getting attached and then the kids get taken back?
Yeah, that’s the idea. And that will be really hard, but there are 500,000 children in foster care in the US at any given time, and someone has to stand in the gap for them.
I heard a horror story about a foster kid who….
I’m going to stop you right there. Please don’t tell me horror stories about foster care.
Are you going to quit traveling?
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what foster care is going to do to my career. I’ve already slowed down my travel schedule significantly since my early days as a blogger. Partially because I have a husband and a home now, and partially because travel content is far more time and labor intensive than it was when I first started blogging back in 2006. Campaigns take exponentially longer now than they used to, so I have to be extremely choosy where I go and who I choose to work with anyhow. I’m sure that will stay the same, and I’m sure I’ll have to make sacrifices. You can’t just go to The Bahamas for two weeks once there are kiddos in the mix – or I think you might go to jail? I dunno.
Bottom line, I need to work and travel content is what I do to make money. So I imagine I’ll keep on keeping on with some adjustments along the way.
Can foster kids travel?
Like everything else in foster care, it really depends on the situation. It’s unlikely I’ll be able to travel abroad with kids in tow. There may be court orders ensuring they don’t leave the country or even the state. We’d have to get permission to go anywhere with them, really, unless there are unusual circumstances. It’ll be interesting to see what happens, that’s for sure.
Can you share pictures of foster kids on your social media?
In general, no. (Which is going to be interesting considering my choice of career!) It’s not necessarily illegal or anything, but it’s certainly frowned upon especially if the bio parents are working their case plan and doing their best to get the kids back. I’m not planning to share my kiddos too much on @AngieAway, but I’ll be sharing some on @Angie.at.Home with their faces strategically blocked.
How can we support you?
Pray for us. Seriously.
We also made an Amazon wishlist that we’ll try to keep updated with items for the kids as they arrive. They usually show up with almost nothing, so any little thing you want to contribute – down to toothpaste! – is appreciated.
Stay tuned for updates. This is bound to be quite the adventure.
July 20, 2021 – We accepted our first placement
July 24, 2021 – We accepted our second placement
December 17, 2021 – OMG BIG NEWS