Over the weekend I was confronted with some questions regarding the idea we may have two additional children soon via a pre-adoptive foster placement. I hope the following can help alleviate any concerns you might have…
"How is adding another sibling group going to affect the five children you already have?"
My guess is that they will continue to develop a much deeper sense of:
-how precious life is
Along with learning lessons of understanding, the importance of sharing what we have and a deeper caring and love for each other and those around us.
Most of all I see the kids experiencing along side us how God blesses us above and beyond our wildest dreams when we do what we are called to do. When we step out in faith and do the hard and scary things. When we seek God’s good and perfect will and sacrifice of our own desires. Foster care and adoption are our family ministry. These opportunities would not come up on their own if it were not the will of God. We could not selfishly MAKE the department of children’s services bend to our will.
Is the road ahead going to be hard? Without a doubt. Will it be worth it? No question in my mind. Are David and I likeminded or am I running this circus and working him into the ground? You will have to ask him that. I know he will tell you the truth.
“The girls should not be caring for other people’s children/babies.”
- First and foremost: That is a decision only to be made by their father and mother. You are entitled to your opinion, thank you for sharing, but we are not required to bend to it.
- Second: Why should they not care for other children if it is their hearts’ desire to care for and play with little kids or hold and rock a baby? Give a bottle, change a diaper? Why not? Do you think they should not do that just because it wasn’t your heart’s desire when you were their age? Just because that is not the heart’s desire of your teen? I would hope you know me well enough to understand I would never MAKE any of our children take care of another child against their will.
- Third: All our teens are paid just as if they are babysitting for someone else when they help me give respite care for foster children.
“What about Homeschool!?”
What about it? I think that anyone who knows me and has a relationship with my children knows that I have done a pretty fair job of educating them these last seven years. I feel pretty confident that I will continue to do a at least a fair job at it in the future. If we are blessed with this placement we will have three in public school and only four at home this school year. I think we can handle that. If that changes, if I suddenly don't think I can "handle it" then I think you can trust David and I to make appropriate course corrections to ensure all of our children are properly educated.
“How can you think you can afford two more children?”
-Foster parents are paid a per diem for each child each day they are in our care. It more than covers their needs and desires. It contributes to the running of the household including mortgages and vehicle payments and the retirement of debt. Sometimes this or a negotiated per diem is paid post adoption too.
-Foster children have Medicaid and require no additional outlay for medical/prescription/dental/vision insurance. Usually this continues post adoption also through at least age 18 and sometimes longer if they child has disabilities.
-Foster children have special state and national programs available to them to help cover college expenses.
-When you adopt from foster care even your adoption expenses are greatly reduced. In some states it is almost free to the adopting family depending on the situation. A Special Needs Adoption (Child older than 2 years or a sibling group or a child with special needs) in Indiana is paid for almost entirely by the state. Homestudy fees, court filing fees, attorney fees all were covered in our first SNAP adoption…the only thing that David and I paid out of pocket to adopt E & N were our fingerprinting fees so that our criminal background checks could be run.
I TOTALLY left out the adoption tax credit! http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html With a more typical adoption you get back what you spent on adoption expenses up to $13,190 (2014). In the case of a special needs adoption (SNAP) you automatically get the whole credit FOR EACH CHILD. So we received $26,380 in tax credit for E & N’s adoption. You have to have had that much tax liability for the year to claim it all. So it can be spread out over up to five years I believe.