Hello! Welcome to the NEW LSI blog that will be all things foster care/respite/adoption and everything in between.
My name is Anne Peters and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) here at LSI. I live in northwest Iowa, and see clients from across the state via telehealth for therapy. I also provide mental health consultation to LSI Early Childhood staff. In addition to that, I blog! For the last year and a half, I’ve been blogging with LSI to provide resources and support for parents as we tackled a pandemic. If you read that blog, welcome back! If you’re new here, welcome!
This blog takes a more personal turn for me as I walk through a new journey. I was just recently licensed as a foster/adoptive parent in the state of Iowa. I want to welcome you to walk through the ins and outs and the ups and downs of being a foster parent with me.
First, let me explain how I came to make the decision. I’ve felt it in my heart to foster for many years. I’ve talked it through with family and close friends in the past, and struggled with the idea of “getting too attached” and the loss that comes for a foster parent when reunification with birth families happen. I’ll be honest, the fear of that pain steered me away for a while. Then came a lot of self-reflection, reading, and researching. The goal of foster care is reunification. I know that, I believe in it whole-heartedly, I want that for the families, but I also know the reality that the joy of bringing birth families together again would mean loss and pain for me.
There was this moment (an aha! moment, if you will) where my thinking shifted. Will it be painful? Absolutely. Will it be difficult? Without a doubt. Can I be that person that provides safety and security for a child in need? Yes. Can the feelings of love, compassion, and empathy be enough to outweigh the pain? Definitely. Do I feel like I can hear my heart saying this is something I need to do? Undeniably.
So, I did it. I signed up for an informational meeting and I went. The story begins there, but it’s just getting started.
By Anne Peters, LMFT