I remember when we started to tell our family that we were becoming foster parents. We had already filled out the application and had a date for the first interview in our home with a caseworker. I told my best friend first because I knew she'd give me an honest response without being hurtful. I honestly don't remember what she said, but I remember that she made me feel like I had an ally no matter what path I chose in life. She's been a God-send to me through these past 2yrs as an open ear and the best Auntie.
|Uncle Bill never had grandchildren, but loves our boys|
I guess if I could do it all over, I would spend some more time talking through the actual process of foster care with our family before we got certified. I would apologize in advanced for bringing them on this rollercoaster experience. Now that the decision has already been made and they have already had loss, I just make sure I acknowledge their feelings and check in with them frequently. I realize I can't expect them to pick me up off the floor every time a child leaves because they have to care for their own hurt, but hurting together after helping a child is still better than hurting alone.
I have gone far and wide looking for resources to educate and support friends and family of foster parents. There are none. The closest helpful book I've found is In On It - by: Elizabeth O'Toole. The subtitle is "What adoptive parents would like you to know about adoption". Highly reccomended.