To become a foster parent in our state one has to attend thirty hours of classes. The purpose of the classes is to equip the parents with the tools needed for foster care and adoption. Many of these hours are spent going over legalities, learning how to fill out all the necessary paperwork, and being certified in administering First Aid. Quite a bit of time was spent in role play situations to help us understand the child's perspective. This was helpful.
However, once we received our children, I felt poorly equipped. My husband and I made it a point to go out every other week by ourselves. We wanted to protect our marriage during this time of high stress. But I didn't know how to take care of myself. I didn't even know I needed to take care of myself. I learned a lot by trial and error.
Good news! There is an e-book out that is extremely helpful. I recommend it as a must read for any foster or adoptive family. It is entitled Shield: A Framework of Self-Care for Foster and Adoptive Families by Sharla Kostelyk.
The book details the steps to take in preparing for your children. It stresses the importance of having a support network. Then Sharla tells how to handle the initial weeks when you welcome your child home. She gives twelve steps of triage to take when things seem out of control. Then there was the chapter God knew I needed to hear about ongoing self-care. I wish I had such a book when we adopted five years ago. If you plan to adopt, this is six dollars you won't regret spending.
Go to Adoption Magazine to order your e-book today.