Myths about Foster Parenting

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I remember before I was a Foster parent I rarely heard anything about it but when I did it was a lot of negative things! Being a Foster parent can have its hard times but it’s very rewarding! So let me start by responding to these comments made by those who don’t know much about Foster care!

“You’re taking in foster kids? You are such a good person!”

Yes, I do my good in this world but when it comes down to it the day to day grind is anything but pretty. I don’t feel like I’m doing much good when I’m cleaning poopy diapers, putting kids in time out, saying no a thousand times, picking melted candy off my floors, treasuring nap times cause the kids are quiet and so on and so on. I do see how you see it though, looking from the outside in you think wow she takes in children who were pulled from their homes, she must be a saint! 99% of the time I would just laugh at that statement and then there is that 1% of the time where I actually have time to stop for a moment and think ya, maybe I am doing something good!

“Wow those kids are so lucky that you rescued them.”

I know some people think the kids were rescued and taken from the worst of the worst homes and now they should be content and happy because they now have food on their plates and are spoiled with tons of toys and a loving home, NOT TRUE at all. Most of these kids, it’s there first time in foster care and they are being taken from the only home and the only environment that they’ve ever known. It’s hard on them, really hard and scary! These kids are the bravest kids I’ve ever met because if that would have happened to me as a kid I don’t know that I could survive! Ya they might not get the food they need or even the love they need from their birth parents but that’s home to them and we always have to remember this is not all fun and games, they do miss there home and there old life no matter how good their Foster parents house is.

“How do you deal with all those awful birth parents?”

I’ve been in it long enough to know most of the birth parents are actually nice people who have just made a wrong choice in their life. And most of them are desperately trying and working very hard to get their child back. Having open communication with the birth parents makes it easier for the child and that should be first priority!

“Isn’t it hard loving these kids when you know they could leave at any moment?”

Some days are harder then others, we just take it day by day. Just knowing that they will be loved and supported when they are with us is enough to make it a little easier. We’re not always sure what they go home to because they leave the Foster parents in the dark as far as their home life but we know that we are pouring love on them while they are here!

“You get paid to just stay at home with kids?”

Yes, I get paid, it’s not enough though. It’s about 94 cents an hour, and we have to pay for clothes which is a huge mandatory expense, food, allowance, medicine, and of course all the fun outings and toys they get which at our house is an over abundance of! So in the end it’s not much, especially for the amount of work involved. Several Social workers visit your house weekly, so you always have to have your house cleaned up, then you got doctors appointments, therapist appointments and so on and so on. It’s worth it to see the kids taken care of but I’ve heard some people saying Foster parents just do it for the money and that’s not the case at all!

“Those kids must be a handful since they’re in foster care.”

It’s funny, I thought this too while I was going through my Foster care training and I was pleasantly surprised with the children I got because they were angels compared to the stories I heard! Yes some kids in the Foster system come with problems just because of what they have been through but a lot of them are very well behaved kind children just looking for someone to love them!

“When are you going to adopt these kids?”

Most of the children we get are not adoptable. The first priority in foster care is to be reunited with the birth parents! And then next comes family of the birth parents and then if they absolutely can’t find anyone, then and only then will you be able to adopt. So the chances of adoption are very low and there is no way to tell if the child coming into your care will be adoptable later down the road. Adopting through Foster care is just a big risk. A lot of people including myself become a Foster parent because they want to adopt a child with very low costs and while that can happen the odds of it happening are quite low. That’s why we feel so blessed to have adopted Madison so soon, she was our little miracle baby!

Now hopefully I’ve answered some of the questions and myths about being a Foster parent! I know you don’t usually hear much about it so I hope this helped! Let me know if you have any questions or you have your own story about being a Foster parent I’d love to hear it!

Adoption Party Pictures

I LOVE planning parties and this was the first one I got to plan for my daughter so I definitely did not leave any details out. I spent hours on pinterest trying to come up with the perfect decorations and finger foods and desserts, I’d say it turned out pretty good! The best part was all the friends and family that got to celebrate my daughter and her officially being an ENAULT.

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Adoption Day Pictures

So far the BEST day of my life: November 18, 2014. The day I became Madison’s forever mommy. Here are some pictures from the courthouse. The judge said it was the biggest crowd he had ever seen for an adoption! I am was happy and honored to have so many friends and family come and support us, there was a lot of LOVE in that courthouse, that’s for sure!

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Gotcha Day: Madison’s Story

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Before I even get one word on the paper, I’m crying.

People tell me every day, “Your story is amazing” And I am always dying to tell them if only you knew the full story on how God’s hand was guiding this little baby to me, it would show you how big of a God we serve.”

To start the story I had to call my dad, you see he was a BIG part of this story. God would use his love for people to help my daughter.

In August of 2013 a lady walked into Bridgeway Church, she was homeless, and looking for food and a place to stay. The church feeds people, lots of people in Vallejo so this was not out of the ordinary. My dad met her and she told him she was pregnant, my dad goes how do you know, she lifted up her shirt and said because my belly is already big. My dad having the biggest heart I know, because anyone would have just took one look at this lady and sent her on her way to take care of herself, let her spend a couple nights at the church. My dad personally took her to the Planned Parenthood to get her a pregnancy test, just to confirm that she was pregnant. And yep, she was.

For the next couple months she stayed off and on at the church, when it was raining my dad let her stay inside and sometimes she would sleep out by the trash cans when she had no where else to go. She came into the church drugged up, smoking cigarettes and then sometimes she would come in perfectly normal. My dad kept all her medical records because she would always lose them and then come back to my dad for a copy. I mean he went WAY far out of his way to help this lady and knew nothing about her. He didn’t know her back story, didn’t know where she was headed in the future, NOTHING. He just knew how to love people the way God wants us to love people.

Now this entire time that this lady is staying at the church my husband and I are getting our foster trainings done, getting our house ready, doing interviews preparing for kids of our own. We were so open about the whole process people often joked around and said Watch you’re going to end up with that lady’s baby. And we would joke, no way, out of all the foster parents in the county there is no way we could possible get that baby. The odds of that happening were way too far out there.

In February 2014 we had just gotten through two foster kids and were waiting for a call for our next placement. We were looking through the paper and had seen this article about a homeless lady having her baby in the hospital and when they tried to take it she got so upset that she almost jumped out of the two story window. We thought WOW, I wonder if that was the same lady that was staying at our church. One day later we received a call from our agency saying there was a newborn baby girl born in the hospital and the mom admitted to doing meth and smoking cigarettes while she was pregnant. My jaw dropped and everything the lady on the phone was saying was all blurred as the thought of this being that ladies baby enters my mind!! NO WAY!! COULD THIS REALLY BE HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?! I ran to Wesley while the lady is still talking and put the phone on mute as I started screaming it’s THAT LADY’S BABY to him. He started freaking out and as I tuned back into the phone conversation I heard her saying now you need to be fully aware this could possibly be a drug baby, without hesitation I said YES, I want her! We didn’t know for sure if it was that lady’s baby but God definitely put it on my heart to say yes.

The next three days I researched drug babies and thought a thousand times in my head, OH NO, should I have said yes? Did I make the right decision or did I just volunteer a life of sleepless nights and worries. Everyone assured me I could do it.

So when Wesley and I walked through the hospital doors on February 27, 2014 we were fully prepared for the worst. But even though we knew that was an option we still had HUGE smiles on our faces as we drove to the hospital and parked the car and walked through the double doors and into the elevator and into the hospital nursery. Are you Wes and Melissa Enault the assistant said? Yes! That’s us. Alright Baby is right over here.

Both of us peeked our heads over the plastic see-through box and saw this tiny 5 lb baby wrapped in hospital blankets and tears flooded my eyes. SHE IS PERFECT! My first question… Does she have any drugs in her system or withdrawals. He said no drugs in her system and NO signs of withdrawals. IT WAS OUR MIRACLE BABY. We then looked at the name card that was placed on the outside of the box Madison was laying in and printed clearly was “that lady’s name”. Wesley and I both looked at each other and smiled, I knew it!

She has been with us since she was 3 days old. Never any visits with her bio mom or family of the bio mom. Her dad is unknown . She has been our baby girl since day one and every time a social worker would walk through our doors they would say how rare that is and how everything is going so fast! The first month of her life she didn’t have a birth certificate and was called “baby”. So we got to name her from the very beginning! Madison Riley, which is a name we chose WAY back when Wesley and I were dating. Despite what happened in the womb she has hit every single milestone and is continuing to grow and succeed every day!

You see God orchestrated this entire story. He had his hand on Madison while she was in her mother’s womb. He protected her, he protected MY baby, MY daughter. We went through 10 years of infertility for this moment right here. God blessed me with a daughter of our own. Yes, he didn’t do it the way we expected and yes Madison took the long way to my arms, but she made it and only by the hand of God.

There is no doubt in my mind that Madison Riley Enault was born for GREATNESS. God has a huge calling on this baby’s life. A few years back in the midst of my infertility I promised that if he were ever to bless me with a child of my own that I would spend every single day of my life teaching that child about God.

She’s a miracle baby, handcrafted by God himself.

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