Understanding the Needs You May Face
If you choose to become licensed as a foster parent so you can pursue a foster/adopt adoption, you know that deep love for children in general is a prerequisite; however, the foster/adopt licensing process takes time, energy, and a great deal of patience. You may have high ideals and a positive mentality, but foster children need parents who can love unconditionally while setting reasonable boundaries and gently but firmly providing consequences when those boundaries are breached. This sort of parenting involves much training, experience, and flexibility, in addition to a whole lot of self-confidence. Experts call it “High Structure/High Nurture” parenting.
You may think you can't deal with an angry child who has neurological problems, but with training, you may surprise yourself. As an adoptive parent through the foster system, you choose burdens that most parents would never voluntarily take on. If you are clear on what you want from becoming a foster/adopt home or the adoptive home of a foster child, you will be able to accomplish a lot.
Red flags for potential abuse in older children include frequent or oddly explained accidents, inappropriate touching of other children, and overt sexual behavior. Abused children can also be overly compliant, fearful, or restless, or profoundly disengaged from emotional interaction and affection.
Adopting a foster child who has repeatedly been hurt and or abandoned requires a stubborn patience and the ability to stand on a foundation of self-awareness and strong self-identity. With particularly damaged children, parents frequently find themselves losing not only their patience, but also their ability to empathize with their children. Additional training and therapeutic services are usually necessary for parents to maintain a sense of equilibrium while parenting a severely emotionally disturbed child. Listen to everything the counselors, social workers, and therapists tell you and be ready for anything.