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Life Goals – How Foster Parenting Fits In

This entry is part [part not set] of 2 in the series Cystic Fibrosis and Foster Care

HAndsIf you would have asked me a year ago if I thought we’d become foster parents, I’d have said that there wasn’t any chance. We were definitely thinking we’d be adopting or even possibly wondering if we’d ever have kids since we were both working so hard and not really excelling financially enough to consider Beautiful staying home. We were using most of her income every month, so it would have been irresponsible to go down to one income.

We were also concerned with saving for the long-term possibility of transplant and wondering how much we’d have to save to adopt. Not very likely that we were going to save up $50k for those events any time soon at the rate we were going – even with the steady upward slope we’ve experienced the whole time we’ve been married. That’s a lot of money to throw around!

Beautiful has always wanted to work. She didn’t see herself getting married and settling down before I came along, but even then the plan was to go to college and get a degree and have a career. Kids have been creeping into our heads more and more over the years, but it was always the same story: we just couldn’t swing one income.

For me, it was starting to wear down my self-esteem. It’s so easy to compare ourselves to others who have one working parent and the other that stays home with the kids. Even our marriage mentors are both home on one income – he works in the bedroom office and she home-schools their 3 girls (sound like anything we might be thinking of doing?). Even though I’m 32, it’s hard to remember that we’ve only been working at this as a team for 5 years and I need to step back and look at where we are and where we’ve come from.

We’ve had our fair share of job changes and raises over the years. Each one brought us closer and closer to our goal, but something else always seemed to go along with it to keep our net about the same – just about even. Then a new trend started: making big moves that increased our financial position, only to have a bad spell that we had to recover from. Such as:

When I left my corporate job, I was spending less money with work-related things, but my insurance went up. When we bought our house, our payment was the same as our apartment, but then we got hit with a $400/mo increase the next year when they realized our taxes were wrong. We recovered from that and put money into savings for a few months and then Beautiful went through all of her allergy testing and started on monthly medicines that took all of that away until we once again increased our income. When she left her job we were doing fine and then we had 3 bad months out of 5 that sort of threw our world into a spin for a while.

Life is a series of variables that never settle down.

One thing I’ve noticed, though: every time we make a change for the purposes of doing better, it eventually gets better, even if we are tested for a time.

Now that the business has stabilized and is posting record revenue, it’s time to get the house in order to proceed and still have time for another drought before we get kids. Joking! I’m not planning on the drought, but once I wrote it, that seems like a distinct possibility given our history.

We certainly don’t feel like we are going to be missing out not having biological kids or by allowing kids to come and go through our doors with the foster care system. Kids need to be with their parents unless they are in danger. If we can help the parent(s) get the time and help they need by caring for their kids during that time, we have done a great thing for everyone involved. I’m positive we will miss anyone who has to go back home, but that just means that we loved them well.

Every kid deserves to be loved well.

We are about to have everything we’ve ever wanted (other than a cure for CF) and aren’t going to stop now.

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  1. Kristi Bowers says

    It is great to see God work in your lives. Whatever children come your way will be blessed. You are doing a wonderful thing.

  2. RonnieSharpe says

    That’s awesome man. Fostering or fostering to adopt has always been in Mandi and my long term plans as well. Many in my family have done it and it’s amazing the impact we can have on these children. Looking forward to watching your journey.

    • Jesse Petersen says

      @RonnieSharpe Thanks! We had decided to go forward about the rime you two were getting tests done for your adventure, but were wary of being denied b/c of CF. Turns out that they only need a doctor’s note and there are a LOT of fostering CFers; we had no idea

  3. SibylChavis says

    Loved this post Jesse:) Really great. Congrats on having everything you want come true and your life unfold in such an amazing way. You guys are going to be great foster parents.