I wish I could live life without rules. Rules and I have never gotten along well. Since having a child, I have found an especially strong disdain for toddler rules:
- If I’m holding it, it’s mine.
- If I’m looking at it, it’s mine.
- Even if I say you can hold it/look at it, I am at liberty to change my mind.
- I will terrorize the cats at every given opportunity. Because it is my declaration of love.
- I will only eat from a selection of 5 brand specific foods. Because I say so.
Toddler rules are meant to be broken. I am currently on a crusade to help P learn that these rules just aren’t going to work. Please pray for me.
When it comes to our journey of foster care, Justin and I are beginning to set rules/boundaries pertaining to the children we will foster. I am aware that I am the type of individual that has a hard time saying “no.” I struggle coming up with rules and boundaries pertaining to children coming into my home. My heart cries out to always say “yes, yes, yes” but my brain is slamming on the breaks going “think first, speak second.”
Justin and I collectively have agreed on a handful of things that we have chosen to share with you:
- P will always remain the oldest child in our house. We will not take a child his exact age or older.
- Until we feel confident that we are working well within the foster care system, we will not take sibling groups.
- We will not take a child(ren) with medical needs that far outweigh our experience (i.e. feeding tubes, trach tube, etc).
- We will always say yes, within reason, to a child(ren) that needs an emergency pick-up (middle of the night).
Will these rules change before we receive our first placement? After six months of being active foster parents? After one year? Probably. Life is fluid. It isn’t static. Situations change. Life changes. We change.
This I hold to be true though; I would rather hold ourselves to these rules, than say “yes” to something that we are unprepared for and end up needing to have a child removed from our home. I do not ever want to add to the chaos, fracture, and turmoil that one of these children are experiencing. I would rather a child go to a foster parents home that is better prepared and equipped than Justin and I are, than to say “yes” and be swimming in regret once we realize we just weren’t the right fit.
I cannot speak to whether setting boundaries/rules up like this is a typical thing persons do when going into foster care (I sure hope it is), but for Justin and I, this was an important part of our process. It was a vital part of our journey for us to sit down together and look at the future with scrutiny. Truly looking at what we felt we are capable of doing within this realm and making sure that we are not only putting the foster children’s best interest first, but also the best interest of P.
So, yes, we have rules. Regardless of my insensible knee-jerk reaction, we have rules.