Foster Care Questions and Answers


foster careMy name is Katie Evans. I was a past writer for DMM, so this blog is near and dear to my heart. At the time I was a young mom trying to survive/thrive during the little years. Now, those three little ones that made me thankful for my bed at night, are 12, 10, and 8 years old. I love this season. It brings different stresses and demands, but you will often catch me calling it the golden years. There is something beautiful about kiddos who can feed themselves and have meaningful conversations with you.

That said, I love, love the little years. They were some of the most exhausting yet rewarding years of my life. To me, those years were a time when I felt the most “mom”. I suppose this part of my mama heart is some of the reason I am now a foster mama.

Our Journey to Foster Care

Around 15 months ago we brought home a brand new baby from the hospital who was not my own. I can vividly remember sitting at the hospital waiting for Jon (my husband) to pull our car up and loading the sweetest, little bundle.

It was surreal. My excitement for this new little one was intertwined with deep pain and loss for his mama.

This was the beginning of our foster journey.

I have learned a lot this last year. I hope to share a little bit of our journey and maybe encourage some of you to pursue foster care. Putting the desire into action is the hardest part, but it’s one I don’t think anyone regrets.

Questions About Foster Care

I wish this was a live Q&A so I could answer all of your questions. Here are answers to questions people ask the most. I could talk about foster care all day!

Is it hard to get licensed to be a foster parent?

Overall, I would say no. It includes lots of paperwork, attending foster care classes, and home studies. I think we were licensed within 6 months-ish. Some of it felt like a lot of busy work but it is necessary to ensure families are choosing foster care for the right reasons.

We really enjoyed our licensing class (once a week for 10 weeks). Jon and I were lucky enough to gain a dear friendship through our classes. We both ended up getting our first placements around the same time. Their support and encouragement along the way has been amazing. So, take time to get to know the people in your licensing class.

Check out this website for information on licensing.

How did you get involved with foster care?

I think exposure to foster care is what lit a fire in me. When we moved into our neighborhood, I met my neighbor who had over 60 babies in her care over her lifetime. Then a couple years ago Jon’s best friend from college and his wife became foster parents. We also had a few families start fostering in our church. For me, it normalized foster care. Seeing others who were just like me stepping into it inspired me to do the same.

Our faith and desire to follow Christ is another huge reason for our yes. He spent his life pursuing the marginalized in society and if those people were important to Him, I want to make sure those same people important to me.

How does foster care affect your biological children?

Our kids have transitioned to being a foster family quite beautifully, especially as their love for our little one has grown. Things I hope and pray for my kids as we foster is that they walk away with a better understanding of our broken world and why we have such a great need for Jesus. I hope they have gained compassion and grace for hard and difficult people. I hope they feel drawn to serve and love the marginalized and think of themselves less and others more.

One cool thing that has changed for my kiddos now that we are a foster family is the talk of their future families. They now include how many kids they will foster or adopt and not just about how many kiddos they want to have biologically. It is just the sweetest thing.

Do you have to interact with biological parents?

This varies from foster family to foster family. As you go through foster care classes you will learn how important family connections are to children in care. We have decided to take an open approach to biological parents. So far I think it’s been a good and rewarding decision. I definitely think it’s good to have boundaries, but I think it takes some trial and error to figure out what your boundaries will be. The best thing you can do when you have a placement is pray for extra grace and for a soft heart to biological parents.

I don’t think I could say goodbye, I’d get too attached.

This is not really a question more of a statement I hear A LOT.

I think it’s literally part of every Q&A on foster care too because it’s a valid fear. I think Jason Johnson (foster care author and advocate) says it best, “Foster care means choosing the pain of a great loss if it means a child has received the gain of a great love.”

Getting too attached is 100% worth it. I think when you are on the outside looking in, it doesn’t always make sense. But once you’re close to these situations and you know the kiddos and families, it all makes sense.

I’m not ready to be a foster parent but I still want to help. What can I do?

Foster parenting can be overwhelming at times. If you know a family who is fostering find ways to help or encourage them. Almost every foster parent I’ve met is terrible at asking for help. Offer to watch their kids or drop a meal or gift card off. It’s not always the help that matters. It’s more “we see you, we love you and we are in this with you” that matters.

If you want to get more involved with children in the system, I would suggest looking into becoming a CASA worker or volunteering at the YESS shelter in Des Moines.

Thank you for allowing me to discuss foster care! I love that you made time for this important topic here! I am active on my personal social media accounts. Find me on Facebook: Katie Vanderpool Evans or Instagram: katieevansphoto

Please feel free to reach out! I am happy to answer any other questions you might have!


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