Adoptive Parenting/empty nest


QUESTION: hi kind expert:
 i'm beginning my 11 week foster parent course, with emphasis on 'theraputic fostering'.
 i'm a little discouraged already, because the teachers make it all sound frightful.  i guess learning all these awful details is something they think will better prepare me, but it's actually scaring me off.
 i raised one autistic son, by the Grace of God. and he is now 18, drives, works, and can golf & understand football!
 it was an excruciating experience for me though. now that i'm divorced, andy lives with his dad & i was looking forward to contributing to another child's life.
 i was hoping for a normal kid though, (& i understand that term offends social workers), but it's the word i use because MY LIFE WAS NEVER NORMAL!!
i guess because i doubt i'll have grandchildren, i'm looking for some kid to love that's NOT AUTISTIC OR RETARDED because that's been my story for the last 18 years....
 is it the best path for me, to continue in this foster care course? (they do have some 'non-theraputic' needs children).
 i'm not trying to sound ignorant, but just honest about my past & my hopes for the future.

ANSWER: Good Morning...Congrats, on the decision to open your home, you have already done "theraputic parenting" with your own child, so really you know it is not going to be easy, however some things to be considered is  1. DO YOU HAVE A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM?
         3. WHEN IS IT TIME FOR YOU?
You sound like you have thought this thru but maybe just having a bit of stage fright. I personally would not ever change what I did, but to be honest I don't know if I would/could do it twice. I am in my fifties now and do not have the same energy level I once had, and based only on that I would PANIC too....HOWEVER when I think of the love and joy and all the accomplishments I received, and felt as a "mom" nothing in the world could make me happier. I wonder if you have taken some time "off" parenting to see how nice it is too have a little "ME TIME" is my suggestiom, FINISH THE COURSE, and maybe not take a child right away, and even better why not do "respite care" do emergency care and wait on doing anything long term until you get your feet wet again. You didn't mention how long you have been seperated so I wonder if your having a "empty nest syndrome" I wish you the very best and I have some websites for you if your interested that may help. Let me know, and God Bless!! Teri Dunbar

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: fine expert teri d: i wrote about foster parenting initially.
i think you're wonderful, and i'd like to ask about this 'empty nest' thing you mentioned. (i thought that was when children all leave home and you're stuck with your husband!! hee hee.)
seriously, i am 50 years old myself, and LOVING my little apartment-- where nobody insults me or hates on me--i feel like i can breathe again!
i'm really happy, but need some 6 or 7 year-olds to play with. at my job, i do oversee kids (just afterschool), but only 2 day/wk for 2 hours each day.
 i'm enjoying it so much i thought fostering would be perfect, but i really just want to enjoy the kid, not struggle all over again. will you tell me more about empty-nest?   thanks....m

  I am sorry for the delay, I never received your last response. The "empty nest" syndrome is typically referred to as a response a "parent" will have after all the children leave home and suddenly our lives are "different"....interesting analogy, because I personally feel that the syndrome is grossly under estimated as I found that I also felt it with my divorce. I wanted the "divorce" But I had been married forever so it was a new life. I have thought about this many times and I do believe you should pursue this new opportunity (by now I am certain you have) Even if you choose to NOT activate your home, you will have a new skill, a new perspective to parenting, and more importantly, you WILL be able to make an informed decision on what to do next. MY BEST to you and I am here if you need any help!


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Teri Dunbar


parenting children from abusive homes, teenagers, large mergers, multi family issues. Through the years I have assisted with behavioral issues.


I have EIGHT children ranging in ages from 19-30 I have adopted five children from DSS, I have six girls 2 boys and ELEVEN grandchildren, I have fostered over 44 foster children. I currently run a call center and have managed as many as fifty associates at one time.

St. Michaels Parish,

High School, LPG, did not get my license as a LPN instead I adopted and left school. Some college.

Awards and Honors
I have several certificates in business management. Most recent in 2008

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