The year 2020 started out like many New Years past. We were all anticipating what this new year would bring; as a foster family, we were making plans for birthdays, holidays, court appearances, visitations, and so much more. Yet, as the year went on things changed quickly.
We were thrust right into a global pandemic that changed our entire way of living. I don’t have to tell you how it changed; we are still very much living what we are affectionately calling the “new normal.” For how long? We don’t know. Yet, we’ve adapted. We have found more ways to connect with each other, more ways to continue to nurture our relationships. We’ve logged countless hours on Zoom and Video Chats, and we’ve managed to thrive in what has proven to be an extremely tough season.
Yet, there’s one thing that keeps being asked? What does this mean for children in foster care? That, my friends, is such a difficult question to even begin to answer.
Courts were closed, visits were cancelled, offices were shut down, and children and families remained in limbo. It can be discouraging to think about fostering in this season. It can seem overwhelming watching as months go by without any clear direction for a child in care. Without permanency in sight. It can feel pointless to even try to continue to foster a relationship with mom, dad, aunts, uncles, or other relatives during this tricky time. Not only that, it can seem overwhelming to even say “yes” at a time like this.
COVID-19 has certainly created a challenging situation, but it has not created an impossible situation.
Are you currently caring for children in foster care right now? Learn more about how you can help your child(ren) through this difficult time.
We have two foster loves in our home right now and we have learned that we have to get creative and a little uncomfortable as we navigate foster care during a pandemic. We even found our way as we got a new placement of a sweet baby girl from the NICU right as COVID-19 was shutting everything down. Have I been discouraged? Absolutely. Have I ached for my little loves’ family? One hundred percent. Have I wanted to throw in the towel and hide in my bathroom and eat ALL the chocolates? Yes. A thousand times, yes.
But I have also wanted to fight harder to keep connections with family, case workers, guardians, and all those involved in our fostering journey.
I have learned that COVID-19 has indeed made things more difficult, but it’s also given us more opportunities to show up and warrior on as a foster family who at times is not just fostering a child, but fostering a family.
It would be easy for my top three tips to be about how my family is surviving and how we can lean on our tribe, but it’s far more important to me to highlight the fact that the true mission of foster care is temporary care. I want to focus on the connections, bonds, and ways I can better support families, especially during a global pandemic.
It is not easy to foster a family, but it is so worth it.