In 2015, Chris and Rachael, two full-time working parents with three biological children, decided it was time to add a little more adventure to their lives by becoming foster parents. Prior to embarking on the fostering journey, Chris and Rachael talked in-depth about the possibility with all of their biological children.
“While Chris and I felt led to begin learning about foster care, we knew that making this commitment to get involved would impact all five of us. It was important to us that each of our children were on-board and understood what this journey could mean for us. We actually brought our children with us to our first informational meeting at Chambliss so they could ask their own questions as well.” explains Rachael.
In 2016, this family of five became a family of seven – two different times! The first to share their home and receive their love were two sisters. They were only with the family for a few weeks before being returned to their birth mother. Their second placement, two brothers, came just before Christmas in 2016. These precious boys were with the family for several months before being reunited with their older two brothers and returned to their parents.
“Saying goodbye isn’t easy on any of us. No matter if they are in our home for a few weeks or many months, they become part of our family. I just have to be the best brother I can while they are in our home,” says Eli, Rachael and Chris' 15-year-old son.
Many adults enter the world of fostering worrying about the time when foster children will leave their care, unsure of how they will be able to handle it emotionally. When that time comes, it will also have an impact on the biological children in the family. That is why having conversations with your biological children before beginning the fostering process is so important. Entering this life-changing process affects the entire family, and laying out all feelings and concerns ahead of time can help when trying to navigate the daily joys and challenges that come with fostering.
Below are a couple of links to stories from biological children about their fostering experiences.
The Department of Children’s Services is also now offering a training session called Impact of Fostering on Biological Children. If you are interested in learning more about this training, please contact Jennifer Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.