My boyfriend/ life partner and I are considering becoming foster parents. We've begun discussing it and have come up with various concerns that we need help with.
First, our partnership & commitment... We've been close friends for several years and have been together for the last 16 months. He moved in with my kids and I last Spring (and has a very close parental-like relationship with both kids). I am still legally married to my ex husband despite having left him a few years ago now. I'm currently working on the paperwork to file for the divorce. I never want to get legally married again, though I have no issues making a commitment to my current partner and see us as in this for life. He's been my amazing support through so much even as a friend before I officially left my husband. I know that single parents can foster, but I wonder how my partnership issues will affect things.
Second, transportation issues... We have a car that seats 4, a truck that seats 3, a motorcycle that is solely my partner's and we also use bicycles and public transportation. With 2 adults and 2 kids already, adding additional children will require the use of more than one vehicle if we all want to go to one place. We are considering getting rid of the truck because it is impractical for city life and costs too much in gas. Will our remaining transportation options be sufficient? Will that be taken into consideration if I can't get everyone into one vehicle? I used to drive a minivan, but it was often just me and the 2 kids and felt enormous. I am not opposed to owning one again, but I'm also not in a good position to be purchasing another vehicle right now.
Third, housing... We rent a 3 bedroom house with a giant backyard. My young teenage daughter has the largest room (a converted attic) and my 10 year old son has the smallest (not enough room for two kids). If I want to foster babies and toddlers, can I just put a crib in my room? I've also considered fostering GLBT teens since there is a high need for homes for them where I live. How does the sexual identity affect room sharing? What should I consider with having my 13 year old daughter sharing a room with another teen? She self-identifies as bisexual but is also young and I think she's still formulating her identity. She's strong willed and I don't worry about her being heavily influenced by another teen, but I also would want both kids to feel safe sharing the room.
Those seem to be our major concerns right now, from most to least concern. Other than that, I am a homemaker with a home business and I also homeschool my son (I'm a total homebody, it seems... ;) ). I have a slight disability that does NOT greatly affect my ability to take care of my kids, home or animals, but does affect other aspects of my life like long-distant driving, extensive walking and heavy lifting. (I can usually lift babies and toddlers just fine but could not carry a toddler around for a long time). We have a lot of animals: 2 inside/outside cats, 1 dog that sleeps inside but has her own yard, an inside bunny and an outside bunny as well as 6 chickens that live in their coop out in my garden. My partner has a very good and stable blue-collar job with benefits, but my kids and I don't receive any of his benefits and have Medi-Cal (state health insurance). I'm not sure if I need to be concerned with any of these other things, but maybe you have some insight I haven't thought of.
Thank you, in advance, for your shared wisdom.