Foster Care and Margaritas
In honor of National Foster Care Month, I thought I would share my story of how I decided to become a foster mom. It is all my friend Jenn’s fault! And I couldn’t be more grateful to Jenn for pushing me to do it. It all started at Brewfest at Mad Mex (A Mexican Restaurant in Pittsburgh.) Jenn’s husband and my buddy, Lee, is in a band called Three Legged Dog and they were playing at Brewfest in September 2017. Jenn and I went to watch the band play and had a few margaritas. After we got home, I went to take Harley and Davidson out in the yard. Jenn and Lee lived next door. Jenn and Kaspar (the Three Legged Dog,) were in my yard so I sat down next to her and we spent at least an hour talking...once again, she brought up the idea of me fostering or adopting.
They adopted their amazing daughter who has become such an important part of my life. Jenn had brought the subject up several times prior and I gave her the same list of excuses I gave every time…I was too busy, I traveled 2-3 weeks per month for work, I didn’t know how to even care for a child…and the list went on. Well, Jenn was extra persuasive that day and I agreed to attend an orientation. I was very scientific in how I selected my agency. At the time, I had one day a week free to attend an orientation, so, I went to the website of every foster agency in my county and found the only one that had orientation on a Thursday evening. I sent them an email and signed up for their next orientation a month later.
The day of the orientation came and I kept thinking about every excuse I could come up with to not go, but I went. Everyone else who signed up must have had the same thought I had because out of 12 people who registered, I was the only one who showed up. So, I tell the recruiter my story along with all of the reasons I didn’t think I would be a good foster mom and he looks at me and says “So you’re normal." "Um, I guess?" and I never looked back. I signed up for the training in the winter and spring and less than a year later, I was a certified foster parent.
The journey to becoming a foster parent was pretty simple. The agencies make the whole process as uncomplicated and smooth as possible. Throughout my certification period and training, I gained several new friends who went through the journey alongside me. Being a foster parent is one of my most challenging life experiences, but also one of the most rewarding and I wouldn't change it for the world. I have learned to always expect the unexpected, lean on those who offer support and to love more than ever before.