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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.

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Foster Care and Adoption Requirement: MAPP Classes

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

MAPP-binderOne of the mandatory things everyone who wants to adopt or foster in Florida has to do is attend MAPP (Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting) classes. Ours were weekly, 3 hours long, and lasted 10 weeks, so you do the math. It’s a lot of training.

What was interesting about our class, which happened to be unusually large, was that we were almost the youngest couple there. I’d say that the average age was around the upper 30s with a fair share of middle-aged parents. The vast majority of them had kids already or had adopted already. Many were there because of the church’s ministry to fostering as a way of helping as many children as possible – as the most helpless members of society.

We fell in love with that mission after the first meeting and switched from wanting to selfishly adopt to selflessly foster. That decision immediately altered how to soaked up the information and made for quite a few good dinner discussions as we went over our homework and thought about various scenarios that people should never, ever have to think about. It breaks your heart to just consider some of the topics as remotely possible in our country, let alone our county.

Some of the topics covered are:

  • gains and losses (entering and leaving the foster care environment)
  • attachments
  • helping children manage their behavior (2 sessions)
  • understanding the impact of fostering

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What Being a Father Means to Me

FamilyTime to get personal, but that’s what you love about me, eh? I’ve known for a very, very long time that I’ve wanted to be a dad. I can pretty much do without a few of those growing up years that I’m not all that comfortable with, but that just goes with the territory. You can’t very well avoid the young teen years, can you?

Most of you know me well enough to know I wasn’t going to come across being a dad before marriage, but most of that problem was pretty sell taken care of for me by means of my genes anyway. No oops possible here. It’s always been pretty clear since I was only in the 4th or 5th grade that little kids (0-4) liked me. That never changed. Babies and little kids just love me, especially now that I have a beard – something new to most little ones.

All that love, and nothing to put it on

I’ve had my fair share of pity parties over the years still not having any kids of our own. We’re at that age where all of our friends are having kids, and some of my classmates have 7-10 yr olds already. I am always genuinely happy for them, but I am also always pained by my inability to just have kids when we were ready.

We obviously went into marriage knowing this, and it was something Beautiful was perfectly fine with, but we weren’t clear on how we’d end up with crumbsnatchers. [Read more…]

Cystic Fibrosis and Foster Parenting

PillowfightFoster parenting is in our future if all of the final licensing paperwork goes through! Yes, Fatboy and Beautiful are about to become parents, possibly quite frequently and many times over.

We’ve been keeping this area of our lives pretty buttoned up for the last… 1/2 year… because, like most news like this, it opens yourself up to questions every week until it happens. Now we are ready to take those questions because we are close enough to the “finish line” to take other peoples’ support in this big, new adventure.

Cystic Fibrosis and Infertility

I’ll just come out and say it: I’m amazed at how many people have known me for a decade or more and haven’t looked into CF’s symptoms to know that darn near 100% of CF males have a broken sperm delivery system. Infertility, not impotence – just want to be clear on that. Then again, we have friends who have looked it up and others who ask out of curiosity and/or insight to suspect that CF might be the cause of why we haven’t had kids after nearly 5 years.

So, CFers are generally looking at one of two major options: using a doctor’s help to do things biologically or using someone else’s biology and adopt. We have more or less (more than less) counted out IVF or any of those medical methods, which will be another post in this series. We also looked at international adoption – too expensive to do while trying to create our large disaster savings account. They say to not delay kids for finances, but we were pretty much stuck in that spot because domestic adoptions that we looked into all start at about $20,000.
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