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  #1  
Old 08-04-2013, 08:35 PM
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Smarty Smarty is offline
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Angry Vent: Foster Parent Shower


We are going to be foster only parents. No adoption. No birth kids either, by choice. We want to make a difference to a lot of babies even if it's temporary. I don't need to explain our decision; this is the 21st century!

A very sweet lady offered to give us a baby shower when I told her about our plans. My first reaction was, no! After all, this is a decision we made and we are prepared and able to finance it. I've already got a lot of my stuff. The only big things left are a car seat and crib mattress. After that I'd like to have a few blankets, baby wash, pacifiers, etc. on hand.
Then I got on this forum and was reading old threads about it. There were some pro/some con. But the pro's to a FP welcoming party seem more about that shift to parenthood and celebrating that rather than stuff.

The problem is, where I worship, it has become about the stuff. Of about 50 of us ladies there are 10 with babies under 6 mos. 3 more are preggo now. Of those families 3 of them were 3rd kids and they had full baby showers for them. Everything brand new. There is a huge mom-clique. I'm not in it. I have no illusions that foster parenting is going to make me feel included.

Today I asked two older ladies what they thought. Their reaction was an absolute no. So, the older generation doesn't see this as a real family. The majority my age will think of it as a cop out on giving birth. (Which it partially is. DH has major anxiety thinking of me giving birth. I saw it in his brother too when they had their babies, they just freak out about healthcare. We're not going there and we're both 100% OK with that and it was something we agreed on when we got married.) And my family even thinks we're stupid and should just have bio's. Although my in-laws are thankfully on board!

I feel I've been shortchanged on one of life's major accomplishments-parenthood. I'm not upset about the shower, that's just the symptom of the fact that most people don't view me as a parent. I just wish people understood!

Anyway, this afternoon I e-mailed the wonderful person that offered the shower and officially turned her down. I asked that if she still wanted to do something to recognize us when we get licensed maybe we can do a dinner together. Because that's all I want, acknowledgement that I'm a "real" parent! But I don't think I can emotionally handle all the flak from 25 elderly & bio-mom's I'd get from accepting a shower.

Thank you for letting me get my gripe in among those who can understand where I'm coming from. I know some of you are bio-mom's too. But since you're also FP's you have big hearts and I don't see you reacting the way these women are.
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7/2013 began fc licensing process
9/2013 passed background checks
10/2013 home inspection & classes
11/2013 completed all licensing requirements
12/2013 licensed

Current placement:
Little Old Man 4 wks 8/2014


Former placements:
January-August 2014 infant from hospital; moved to relative
2.5 yo kinship 8/2014

Last edited by Smarty : 08-04-2013 at 08:41 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2013, 08:53 PM
fuzzybunny fuzzybunny is offline
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can you imagine the registry for a foster parent shower?!

-one of everything, birth - age 18. gender neutral

i think the licensing celebration dinner is a GREAT idea.

baby showers make sense because the needs are predictable. baby of a certain gender will be born in winter, at around 6-9 lbs and will grow accordingly. easy enough to buy for.
with fostering, the details are so vague. if a friend was to become licensed, i would "shower" them with a celebratory dinner and have everyone gift them take out-friendly restaurant gift cards.
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2013, 09:15 PM
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iHeartCWU iHeartCWU is offline
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I have people who wanted to a foster shower... I thought it was silly. And fuzzy that is hilarious 0-18 gender neutral.

I turned them down as well. I don't really know what to "register" for. There is so much, and if I ask for anything 0-12m then it might be rendered useless if I get a 3 year old. And then I was offered a baby shower when I was placed with the kiddos (by different people actually), and I declined. But their stay is not permanent at the time, and I cannot have a baby shower every 6 months for every placement.

I know your not adopting. But I finally told the pesky supporters to do an adoption shower when the time comes... But regardless you ARE going to be a parent... to each and every single child that walks through your door. And each one of them will have a special part of your heart, even when they leave. You will have been their parents for a time in their lives they needed parents the most. And if those ladies at the place of worship cannot see that, then I don't believe they can see God's will even when its right there in their face.
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3/26/2013- Licensed

Former Placements:
2 year old "Roo" 04/1/2013-08/28/2013
6m old "Sissy" 05/1/2013-09/25/2013
3y old "Princess" 9/10/2013-08/05/2014
2y old "Monkey" 9/10/2013-08/05/2014
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2013, 09:22 PM
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Smarty Smarty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fuzzybunny
if a friend was to become licensed, i would "shower" them with a celebratory dinner and have everyone gift them take out-friendly restaurant gift cards.
Great idea!
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7/2013 began fc licensing process
9/2013 passed background checks
10/2013 home inspection & classes
11/2013 completed all licensing requirements
12/2013 licensed

Current placement:
Little Old Man 4 wks 8/2014


Former placements:
January-August 2014 infant from hospital; moved to relative
2.5 yo kinship 8/2014
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2013, 09:24 PM
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Smarty Smarty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iHeartCWU
I have people who wanted to a foster shower... I thought it was silly. And fuzzy that is hilarious 0-18 gender neutral.

You will have been their parents for a time in their lives they needed parents the most. And if those ladies at the place of worship cannot see that, then I don't believe they can see God's will even when its right there in their face.

Thank you for your support!

That was my first reaction too!
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7/2013 began fc licensing process
9/2013 passed background checks
10/2013 home inspection & classes
11/2013 completed all licensing requirements
12/2013 licensed

Current placement:
Little Old Man 4 wks 8/2014


Former placements:
January-August 2014 infant from hospital; moved to relative
2.5 yo kinship 8/2014
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  #6  
Old 08-05-2013, 02:45 AM
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BirdieBee BirdieBee is offline
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We did not have a foster shower. When we did receive BE some friends and family brought gifts over and some cooked dinner for us. That was it.

Now since our case is going to adoption, I kind of want a shower because I don't want to feel "short changed" with the whole parent experience but we won't have one.

Some people's ideas of foster, or foster to adopt, feel that showers are not a good idea.

Sorry for hijacking your thread, but I say no to a shower.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2013, 03:29 AM
swd swd is offline
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You know, I'd definitely say no to a traditional shower, for all the reasons mentioned above. But since your community is being so supportive and wanting to do SOMETHING, tell them yes, you can have a shower, but it has to be a FOSTER shower, not a baby shower. Restaurant gift cards, books, freezable casseroles, babysitting "coupons" or other gift cards for kid-friendly venues would be great gift ideas. Think zoo memberships, etc. Let your community support you even if your family doesn't. It's not about taking stuff that people give you, it's about letting them be a part of this change in your life, and yes, it's your own way of becoming a parent. It should be celebrated.

ETA: And parenting is forever. It doesn't matter that the kids won't live with you forever or legally be in your family. They will always be in your hearts. Trust me. You'll be a REAL parent.
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  #8  
Old 08-05-2013, 03:35 AM
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mominalabama mominalabama is offline
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Have you heard of journey bags? Google The Forgotten Initiative. That might be a creative, fun way to prepare for future kids, celebrate the entry into parenthood without feeling as though you'd be wasteful or getting stuff.

I've received two really nice book bags with toiletries, kiddie toothbrushes, new undies, socks and pj's. There's usually something neat in it like crayons and new coloring book or nightlight. Those are things kids can take to their new home or have when they arrive and be welcomed with.

I didn't get a shower but I'm very pro thrift store and consignment. So I told people the age range of kids. I asked for fill in toys for boys as I have a girl. I can send out a group text or FB message that I'm getting a new placement give gender age size and can count on people dropping supplies on my doorstep or exchanges at church.

P.S.-you are a REAL parent to the kids in your home. You provide real food, clothes, beds etc... There is real love and if you find yourself surrounded by a church family that doesn't value your ministry and family it will be time to have a little talk with Jesus (& the minister).

Edited to add: my southern accent to the last part honey
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Last edited by mominalabama : 08-05-2013 at 03:38 AM.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2013, 05:52 AM
KristieZ KristieZ is offline
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[quote=mominalabama]
So I told people the age range of kids. I asked for fill in toys for boys as I have a girl. I can send out a group text or FB message that I'm getting a new placement give gender age size and can count on people dropping supplies on my doorstep


I do this too. The consignment stores here suck bc I'm over a hr from a mall. So when I get placements I post size/gender and people I barely know from work will bring a small bag with a couple outfits. But that one or two things from a dozen or so gets what I need. It has amazed me the outpouring of support from my coworkers, and the community in general.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2013, 06:19 AM
TemporaryMom TemporaryMom is offline
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I didn't do a foster shower either, but if I am being honest, I wish I had done it. And this is why. It allows your family and friends to celebrate YOUR parenting decision just as you have done with them for a long time. I wish I had given up on this one, not been my normal stubborn self and let them have that moment. Now, that said, when I did get my first placement, my friends brought gifts for my girls.

Now, to step to another idea. What I wish I would have had was people stepping up to get approved for babysitting! That would have been worth more than gold to me. As it was, none of my friends had gotten prior approval, they were waiting until I got a placement. The same thing with BE. So now I have only one approved babysitter, and she is too busy to babysit, LOL.

At a church, especially with the older female patrons, you have a huge collection of folks who could be approved for caregiver status. Trust me, you cannot have too many. I had to drag my girls to the store to get their clothes with their clothing voucher. That was HORRIBLE. When Chubbs came along, one of my friends did a call out to her church for donations. I got a wide variety of stuff. One family was very generous and I had clothes from 0-9 all in impeccable shape. A few others gave me stuff that was so old and faded that I just couldn't put my son in it.

If I had anything to "complain" about it is that right there. When it is for "foster" children, people seem to think it is quite ok to give them the old, tattered, stained, damaged goods. Very sad.

So, if you aren't comfortable with a foster shower, I'd ask for a babysitting shower where people go and get fingerprinted and background checked so as to be able to babysit for you.
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  #11  
Old 08-05-2013, 06:39 AM
GreenRoomMama GreenRoomMama is offline
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So, the truth is.... You have already experienced one of the down sides of being a parent... And that is mommy cliques and parenting judgement from others.

I'm sure your church is wonderful for many other reasons, but I can't help but think if they make you feel less than supported and encouraged by them, and theyre not celebrating you and your ministry (which mothering IS a ministry IMO) then I'm wondering where they are getting their Christian guidance.

I agree that a shower is probably unecessary and impractical, but the ones that offer are obviously in the right mindset, and are excited for you, and that's great you have them in your life!

Anyways, the original point was that one of the unfortunate sides to parenting is those cliques and judgements. If a woman gets pregnant, she is told by strangers what to eat, not eat, do or not do. A couple with a baby is told of horror stories and given unwanted advice. There's the whole formula/breast feeding and working/staying at home battle between mothers. Omg, the list could go on and on.

I wish women could just lift each other up and support their individual parenting decisions, but instead some woman have the need to make themselves feel like the superior mother because of this or that.

Not true. You will be wiping noses and cleaning butts and losing sleep the same as all the rest of us. I think a celebratory dinner to celebrate impending parenthood with some real friends is a GREAT idea!!
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  #12  
Old 08-05-2013, 06:53 AM
irq11 irq11 is offline
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I've seen (and posted) to many of those "shower" threads and I think overall the consensus is that the shower is a bad idea if YOU initiate it. if someone ELSE offers to do it for you, it's okay. (actually, that is the etiquette in general for any shower!)

If you think other people will react to it negatively though then it was probably best to decline.

If you're only taking babies though, then maybe you could ask this lady to put the word out that you'd love to get any hand-me-downs from the moms with babies to supplement their wardrobe.
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  #13  
Old 08-05-2013, 06:58 AM
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I've been asking for a diaper shower for years now. In fact, I now have the other two pregnant moms at our church also asking for diaper only showers. The older ladies in our church are so disappointed

We didn't end up getting a pre-placement shower but we got a post shower. Most people did things specific to our Baby Girl but some also included "in case" things like coloring books and games for preschoolers. I felt like those people "got it" more than the ones who only gave for Baby Girl. I know that's not strictly true but I did really have my heart set on a pre-placement party.

We didn't get any shower for placement #2 even though it was a boy this time.

Now, with placement #3, the church is talking about including me in the joint shower they're giving the other two pregnant ladies. I don't know how I feel about that. They (older ladies) want me to feel included but it feels more like an obligation. It seems like the acknowlegement of how we're growing our family is coming too late (KWIM?).

To the OP- I'd say that showers are complicated things. I like what others have said about a post-licensing celebration. Of course, you could have a kid in your home by then I really like the gift card idea too.
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Baby Girl (3)- entered home in Oct. 2011 (3 months); adopted in Oct. 2012 (15 months)
Lil Man (2)- entered home in Dec. 2012 (3 months); adopted in Feb 2014 (18 months)

Foster Children:
Beany Baby (1 year)- entered home in Oct 2013 (2 days old); Goal Change to TPR (Feb 2015)

"Adoption is a promise: to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until death do us part."
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  #14  
Old 08-05-2013, 08:28 AM
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Smarty Smarty is offline
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Thank you all for your wonderful comments. I just needed to hear from people that "get it".
__________________
7/2013 began fc licensing process
9/2013 passed background checks
10/2013 home inspection & classes
11/2013 completed all licensing requirements
12/2013 licensed

Current placement:
Little Old Man 4 wks 8/2014


Former placements:
January-August 2014 infant from hospital; moved to relative
2.5 yo kinship 8/2014
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