An honest Note to My Readers: How Foster Care Made Me More Guarded

This mom explains how foster care changed her

Hi Fellow Readers,

Let me just state first that this post has been sitting in my saved posts for a while. It is a bit of an apology and an explanation. It is one I feel is necessary to send out because being foster parents I can’t always be as open as I would like to be.

When I first decided to start up this blog on foster parenting, I joined a blogging community as encouragement. I also needed some help with the technical side and ideas on how to get my voice heard. Two key ingredients to success seems to be consistency in posting and promoting through social media. Many recommend posting once a week, but in the least two times a month. I try to do this, but I also want the content to be useful. I don’t want to be another blogger who is just filling up your mail box with spam and useless information. I am not in the blogging community to make money. I honestly just thought the foster care printables and some of the stories or ideas we had as foster parents would be helpful, and I wanted to share, as well as have a creative outlet.

But I Often Think to Myself…. Hmmmm Am I Sharing Too Much?

Through my foster parenting and adoptive parenting journey I have learned a lot of lessons and have a lot of useful information I would love to share. Before foster care, I was an open book about everything, and I trusted pretty easily. But foster parenting changed me. I realized I could not be an open book, especially because there are children and families who trust me to keep their privacy. There have been several articles I started, but never posted because as I re-read it and analyzed it, I thought… hmmmm, am I revealing too much about our story? Am I revealing too much about my daughter? Am I invading her privacy by posting this? Am I over sharing? While I want to help share these stories and lessons that I wish I had learned sooner, I also cannot jeopardize our own safety and privacy as a family. I also don’t want her to look back later at these posts and think that I betrayed her trust by sharing too much of her story. Because of this, I am not as consistent as I would like to be, and for that I apologize.

Even now that my daughter is adopted, and we have more liberty and freedom to share, I find myself hesitant. She deserves her story to stay her story. As she grows older she will learn more and more. Adoption through foster care is not something we will hide from her. Even now that we can post on Facebook and Instagram her beautiful face, I find myself hesitant on what I share. I find that I over analyze every picture I do post. Does it reveal too much about where we live? Does it reveal the parks we frequently visit? My Facebook profile (the one recognizable to the world) is not our faces. I see some of the pictures my friends post, and the stories they share, and I think to myself I could never post that. What if that picture, comment or story got into the wrong hands? Foster care made me more guarded, and maybe this isn’t a bad thing. Because of social media and the internet, there is far more share-enting then there was even 10 years ago. While sharing through social media has allowed me to keep in touch with my friends and family who have moved far away, and has helped to keep us connected at times, it also is something we have to be careful about as a family.  

Putting aside social media, I am also more guarded when sharing with family and friends. The last thing I want is for a family member to know her story and begin to pass judgement. I often get these visions in my mind of what could happen if I am not careful. I worry that if I share too much, a biological family member will find where we live and kidnap her. I realize that this fear comes out of a place that is somewhat irrational, but in the world we live in you can never be too careful. I also worry that if I share too much with a family member or friend, one day when my daughter is older she will accidentally overhear her story being shared between whispered voices of that friend or family member.  

What About the Book Club?

If you’ve been with me for a while, sometime back in October of 2017 I came up with this idea for a Foster Care Book Club. While I still want to start it, I also realized how scared I am to do so, and not because of the extra work it will take, but because I don’t want to be liable or blamed for others’ actions. The group must be closed, and while many of you have written me kind e-mails, you are all strangers who I am hoping are actually foster parents or social workers who want to be in the group to better themselves. While the Facebook group would be a closed group, I have to trust that everyone will not over share and will be respectful to others with differing opinions. I also have to trust that if someone does overshare, and there is a consequence because of it, I will not be held accountable or blamed. So, if this was something you were interested in, I still plan to put it together. But I need a little more time to plan out exactly how to do this and make sure everyone in the group including myself is safe, understands the guidelines, and won’t hold me accountable if something doesn’t go their way.  

After All This… It is Still The Best Decision We Ever Made.

With that being said… foster care did change me. Foster care did make me more guarded. Foster care made it harder for me to trust. But foster care was also one of the best decisions we ever made. Through this I have met some incredible parents and social workers. Their stories and support have touched my heart and have made me a better person and parent. Our already strong marriage has grown stronger as we comforted and supported each other through our parenting struggles and foster care journey. I also have met the most incredible little human, our daughter, who has forever changed my life in the best way possible.

I hope you all stay with me, and understand that although I would like to share more, it is my number 1 duty to keep my family safe. Thanks for reading. Until next time….

Happy Parenting,

PS… If you do not follow me yet, and you would like to, please sign up here, by signing up you also gain access to some helpful foster parent organization printables.

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4 comments on “An honest Note to My Readers: How Foster Care Made Me More Guarded
  1. Tricia says:
    I have the same problem. I wrote out a blog post the other day about a couple of kids we took in for a weekend that had to ask the agency to come pick them up after 1 night because we didn't feel comfortable with them being around our little girl. I haven't hit publish yet because I worry that this is oversharing. What will the backlash be? My post reveals my failings as a parent. Our adoption is not yet final. What if someone we know sees it and thinks that because we failed those boys we'd also fail our little girl? Foster care has definitely changed us. For the better? ...I'm not sure yet. I guess my point is, I know your fears and I'm right there with you.
    • Erin Marie Erin Marie says:
      Thank you so much for your response! That's exactly how I feel. It's always nice to know I'm not alone because this foster world sometimes feels so lonely and like people don't understand. I have no idea what the realistic backlash will be, but my mind always goes to the worst case scenario. I have a post I've been sitting on for a very long time on visiting with biological family and the lessons I have learned. Every time I think of posting it I get a little uneasy, and then I edit it down, but by doing that I then realize I have taken out all of the real lessons I have learned that I feel are so important to share... So it still just sits there. I also just checked out your blog. I LOVE IT!
  2. Fran says:
    I understand completely. I haven’t started my blog yet and I intend to but I have so many fears about our vulnerability. We currentlh have two foster children, one we are in the slow process of adopting and the other we don’t know what his outcome will be yet. Foster parenting has made me so cautious. I feel like I view everything through the filter of how it will be viewed by those who judge us officially or unofficially, who have control over our future with our precious child. Like the previous commenter, I’m not sure yet if the changes are good. Thank you for your honesty. This path is so hard in so many unexpected ways.

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