For Father's Day, we wanted to highlight the amazing men in our own families who are not only Dads to their own children, but also to the many kids coming in and out of our homes. We couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than to give a little insight about foster care and hear directly from Eric (Megan's husband) and Chris (Erin's husband) and Aaron (Heather's husband) themselves!
Eric, Chris & Aaron, you have opened your homes, but also your hands & hearts. Thank you for never batting an eye when you come home to a new child (or children!), for holding & feeding babies while playing board games or cooking, for changing diapers & stretching your time to fit everyone in, and always - no matter what - making all the kids in our homes feel loved.
To all the dads, stepdads, foster dads, grand-dads and uncles out there... thank you for all that you do! You are superheroes!!
What was your first thought about becoming foster parents?
E: Honestly, I never considered it. Meg approached me as it being something she really wanted to do and I wanted to support her!
C: I was definitely excited for it; I was the one who pushed for it! I guess I thought it would be a good way to touch many lives and felt like it was an opportunity to give back to society. I can understand how some families struggle and I guess I would hope that if I were the one needing help, that there would be a nice family that could take care of my kids.
A: That there was a child in need and my wife was made for a job like this.
What was your greatest fear or worry?
E: My greatest fear or worry was that I wouldn't be able to help too much because of work and that Meg would have to do the "heavy lifting" of fostering, alone.
C: My greatest fear was the we would foster a child that would be harmful to our other children.
A: That it would take away from our marriage.
Has that fear or worry proved to be true?
C: No. Sometimes it's easy to fall into believing the falsehood that foster kids are "troubled" but I've realized that kids are not being removed because they are bad and that fear has not proven true for us.
A: Yes, but it's a child!
What is your favorite thing about being foster parents?
E: Giving families a chance to get their lives together in providing a safe, friendly, and fun environment for children when they are in our care.
C: I guess just getting to love on kids who come from difficult situations and environments and giving them the joy of childhood while they are with us.
A: The love!
What is your least favorite thing?
E: The red tape of DCF and the State of Connecticut
C: How DCF works, there is sometimes no sense of urgency to keep things moving or accountability and that can be a frustrating thing to deal with. And babies. We've had to many babies!
A: The stress!
What is the craziest or funniest thing that has happened?
E: When we got trained on caring for diabetic children, I felt like things got really complicated, really quickly. I think that was the most nervous I ever was (next to forgetting to do my homework during our training!).
C: The craziest thing to me is the background of some of these kids that puts them into care. But a crazy memory is when we had twin toddlers that constantly took their clothes off so we had to put their zip up pajamas on backwards but they just helped each other get out of them!
A: I woke up one morning and the baby had so much poop I couldn't find the zipper of his pajamas!
What would you tell other men who are interested in being foster parents?
E: It's rewarding because it isn't easy. If you're in it, you have to be all in. Also, it's a huge help to have friends fostering as well. For me, I have a unique friendship with Chris that I don't have with anyone else in the world. That's been a huge plus for me.
C: Do it! It's an incredibly rewarding experience filled with heart break, but also heart-fill (yes, I just made that word up!). It gives you the opportunity to be a dad to kids that they may have never had or to fill in for their dad who may be struggling.
A: Men are interested?! Happy wife, happy life! Just go with the flow!