Question: What is the best advice for new foster families?

Here are my top 3

  1. Plug into a community of foster/adoptive families – they will help you feel normal again. It is hard to put into words what it means to have other people that can understand your struggles, joys, heart ache, and dreams. My army and I share ideas we are trying, what we are reading, trainings, tears, and so much more
  2. Know your limitations. Be honest about what you can do and what you can’t and clearly communicate that to case managers, agency specialists, birth parents, etc.

And the number one advice that I would give you –since it is the number one thing that I have to regularly remind myself of as well is….

  1. Put on your own oxygen mask first! We hear this advice every time we get on an airplane…you are no good at helping someone else survive if you yourself do not have oxygen. The same is true in fostering and adoption from the foster care system. It is easy to get wrapped up with the daily grind and needs that your child has that you forget to take care of your own needs. I have found it important to schedule time for myself. Here are a few ideas
    • Take a nap – you will find me napping every Sunday!
    • Schedule a personal get away – I typically do this twice a year to stay healthy
    • Schedule time each day to read, play games, go for a walk, whatever it is that fills you up instead of drains you.
    • Schedule future haircuts and other self care appointments before you leave your current appointment.
    • Make time with adults a priority- you may be in a season where you need to be creative. My husband and I have had some pretty stellar car dates where we pick up fast food, put a movie on in the car for all our little monkeys, and go for a drive where we can just talk and reconnect on life.

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