Wednesday, January 2, 2008

What Ages Will You Take?

After parenting a child with reactive attachment disorder I was a little scared - and tired. I didn't want a child who could talk to me. I didn't want a child who would reject me and treat me like I was a monster. I understand RAD behaviors a little more now, but it is still not something I wanted to jump into again.

Well, how did I answer the question? I said 0-2 for now. One social worker asked me if I didn't want the bad influence of older kids on my children. That was not on my mind, but what mother actually wants the bad influence for her children!

Nine months later I have a one and five year old and may just stay in this age range for practical purposes. I homeschool my teen children, and taking a foster child back and forth to school really is disruptive to our schedule, because their hours can't be changed, so it is ours that have to be flexible.

I know there are some foster families who only want teens. The teens have many things to deal with and need you in ways the little ones don't. They also can feed and bathe themselves, so some things will be easier. Truthfully, I already have my teens to enjoy. I want little ones again. My teens are getting a great experience of helping with younger siblings in the house. They were all young together so this is new to them .

Will I never take teens? Never say never. Just the other day my husband and I talked about taking teens when our teens are married and on their own. For several reasons. We will miss teens and the good company they are, our teens won't be here for the dreaded bad influence ;-), and we may be too old to chase toddlers!

All children deserve good homes. Not just cute little ones. I just think at this time in our lives, we are a better family for the younger children.

By the way, I have read that statistically the average age of a foster child is ten years old. For some families this is a older child and for others this is a young child. It depends where you are in life. You can read some more foster care statistics at:
Administration For Children & Family Services

I know my family will change over time, and we will always look at each case as a child, not a statistic or age. Still, statistics can be interesting and everyone is always wondering what the averages are.


"A baby is born with the need to be loved, and never outgrows it."

Frank A. Clark