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Q:

What are some ways to build a support network as an adoptive or foster parent?

Hello everyone,

I am in the process of becoming a foster parent and I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. I am wondering what are some ways to build a support network as an adoptive or foster parent? I know that this journey will not be easy, and I want to ensure that I have people that I can talk to and lean on when I need it. I am open to any suggestions, whether it be support groups, online communities or anything else. Thank you in advance for any advice you can provide.

All Replies

leffler.patsy

Hi there,

I would like to share my experience as an adoptive parent of a child with special needs. Building a network of support was essential for my family given the unique challenges we face. We found a few resources that were incredibly helpful.

First, we were able to connect with other parents who had adopted children with similar health issues. We joined a local support group for parents of children with special needs and it was really helpful to be able to talk to others who truly understood what we were going through.

In addition, we joined an online community of parents who had adopted children with similar conditions. The connections I made through this forum were invaluable, we shared solutions to common problems.

Finally, we found support through our child's medical team. The therapists and doctors who work with our son have been incredibly supportive and we feel that we can go to them with any questions or concerns that come up.

I hope that you find these suggestions helpful as you navigate the challenges of adoption or foster parenting with a child who has special needs. Just know that you are not alone and there is support out there for you.

libby.sawayn

Hi,

I am a foster parent and building a support network has been crucial for my sanity and success as a foster parent. One way I built my network was by attending training sessions and seminars hosted by our foster agency. This was a great way to connect with other foster parents in the area and to meet potential mentors.

Another thing that helped me was seeking out resources provided by our agency. They had a list of therapists who specialize in working with foster families and children, and this was incredibly helpful for me and my family. It gave us a place to process some of the challenging situations we encountered and to get guidance for how to move forward.

Lastly, I found it helpful to identify friends and family who were willing and able to support us. This didn't necessarily mean they had to be foster parents themselves, but rather they were willing to be there for us when we needed them. Sometimes a listening ear or a home cooked meal can make a world of difference.

I hope this helps and wish you all the best.

delta95

Hi there,

I am an adoptive mother and I can definitely understand your concerns about needing a support network. One thing that helped me was joining a support group for adoptive and foster parents. We meet once a month and it has been a great opportunity to share our experiences and offer each other advice and support. I would recommend doing some research to see if there are any groups like this in your area.

Another thing that helped me was connecting with other adoptive and foster parents online. There are several Facebook groups and forums where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences. It can be really helpful to have a safe space to share your concerns and get advice.

Finally, don't be afraid to reach out to family and friends for support. Sometimes people don't know how to help, so don't be afraid to tell them what you need. Whether it's a listening ear or someone to babysit while you take a break, having people you can rely on can make a big difference.

Wishing you all the best on your journey.

lillie18

Hi there,

As an adoptive parent, I know how challenging it can be to navigate this journey without a support network. One thing that really helped me was joining a local adoptive parents group. It was refreshing to speak with others who understand the unique challenges that come with adoption and share similar experiences.

In addition to the group, I also started seeking advice from professionals. I found a therapist who specializes in adoption and family dynamics. They were able to provide me with guidance and perspective that I wouldn't have found elsewhere. I also found that attending workshops led by professionals in the field, like social workers, provided me with valuable knowledge and resources.

Finally, I cannot underscore the importance of talking to family and friends about the challenges and triumphs of adoption. Initially, I felt hesitant to share my experiences with others, but found that my loved ones were eager to provide a listening ear and support.

I hope that you find these suggestions helpful on your journey as an adoptive or foster parent. Remember, you are not alone.

flo71

Hello,

As an adoptive parent with experience in both domestic and international adoptions, I found that building a support network was a vital component in our experience. One thing that helped us to build our network was connecting with our child's birth family. We were able to establish a strong relationship with them through an open adoption, and they have been an incredible source of support and information. Relationship with birth family depends on the agreement you have with them.

Another thing that proved helpful for us was joining online forums and Facebook groups related to adoptive parenting. These groups helped us to connect with other adoptive families and share tips and resources we found useful.

Finally, we found that attending seminars and workshops specifically designed for adoptive families to be really valuable. The presenters are usually very experienced and informative. They provide an opportunity to learn best practices from seasoned professionals and connect with other adoptive families.

I hope these suggestions are helpful as you build your own support network. Remember, throughout the journey you are going to need people who will walk alongside you, who will be there to listen, provide support and resources. All the best.

sylvia54

Hello everyone,

I would like to add to this discussion as someone who has adopted multiple children, including those from different countries. Building a support network was a necessary tool to help us navigate these new waters. One thing that helped me was attending adoption conferences and events that were geared towards adoptive parents. I was able to learn about various resources and strategies that helped other parents throughout their journey, and the talks from experts were insightful and educational.

Another thing that helped me build our network was reaching out to other international adoption agencies. We met with families who worked with agencies that specialized in international adoption before we adopted our first child, and it was invaluable to learn about their experiences and get advice. Talking with other adoptive parents who had gone through similar processes gave me a better perspective about adopting internationally and how to help my children form connections to their culture and birth family.

Lastly, I would highly recommend looking for peer-led support groups in your local community. Often times, these groups are led by other adoptive parents and can provide hope, guidance, validation, and resources that are not found elsewhere.

I hope this helps and I wish you a fruitful journey.

mackenzie64

Hello,

As a foster parent myself, building a support network has been crucial throughout the entire process. One thing I found to be really helpful was attending trainings and workshops that were hosted by our foster care agency. These events provided a great space to connect with other foster parents in our area, share experiences and learn from one another.

Another thing that helped me build my support network was connecting with other foster parents online. There are a number of online communities and forums dedicated to foster parenting, and being able to chat with other foster parents from other parts of the world has given me a different perspective on many issues that I might not have had otherwise.

Finally, I found it invaluable to create a network of people who had gone through the foster parenting process themselves. My aunt was a foster parent and had remained connected to many of the children she had fostered over the years. Having the opportunity to chat with her and learn more about her experiences was a game-changer for me.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you as you embark on this journey. Best of luck to you!

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