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  #1  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:04 AM
Incubus Incubus is offline
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Foster parent baby shower?

Yestetday I got an e-vite from my aunt for her daughters foster parent baby shower

About 2 years ago, my cousin had tried to have a kid. Doctors discovered a softball sized tumor on one of her ovaries. They removed the ovary, and said if she wanted kids she needed to do so asap because they wanted to do a hysterectomy. (which I assume they would do as soon as she had a baby/decided to adoot) She spent something like $30,000 on IVF treatments. After 3 attempts, she still couldnt get pregnant, so her and her husband decided to be foster parents. Around this time, my brother and his girlfriend announced they were having a baby.

My stepmom planned a big baby shower for my brother and his girlfriend early next month. My cousins shower is rather last-minute. But what really makes me wonder is, do people have showers for being foster parents? I understand it must be hard for my cousin, being unable to have a kid and dealing with cancer (I dont even know if she had her hysterectomy yet! ) but this shower seems kind of shoehorned in, kind of a "me too" type of deal. I dont even know the age of the foster kid, he could be 15 for all we know!

Anybody heard of this? "Foster" baby shower?
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:14 AM
Incubus Incubus is offline
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Foster parent BABY shower

Whoops, that should read "Foster parent baby shower. Mods, could you change it?
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:24 AM
SnakesCatLady SnakesCatLady is offline
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While I don't know what Miss Manners would say, foster parents who gave never had a child in the home will need the same kinds of things new birth or adoptive parents would need.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2012, 01:57 AM
TokyoBayer TokyoBayer is online now
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Except as noted that the child may not be a baby. Statistically, it would seem unlikely that they would get a baby. . .
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  #5  
Old 07-27-2012, 02:23 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
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This is a pretty dumb idea. If they were adopting a baby, I could totally see having a shower. But a foster kid? That arrangement is (with very few exceptions) strictly temporary. Why were they willing to sink 30k into IVF, but then go the route of fostering instead of adoption? It doesn't make sense because the first kid they foster could be a 5 year old girl, and the next kid could be a 14 year old boy. What needs do those kids have in common?

I wouldn't go. If I were friends with her, I'd ask her wtf they are thinking.

Last edited by Rachellelogram; 07-27-2012 at 02:24 AM..
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  #6  
Old 07-27-2012, 03:09 AM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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Some foster parents take in strictly babies. Sometimes it's temporary, sometimes it ends up being permanent. I know a foster parent who has a baby and a toddler in her home right now.

It sounds like your cousin is still sad over the issue. If you're friends with her, then go. I've seen seriously pregnant women get pretty greedy and rude over a lot less.
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  #7  
Old 07-27-2012, 03:11 AM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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P.S. Boarding ANY child means you're gonna need stuff. Many foster parents select a specific age group.

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 07-27-2012 at 03:11 AM..
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  #8  
Old 07-27-2012, 08:50 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Honestly I think you sound a little insensitive. She's having a kid. Doesn't matter how. It's a thing to celebrate.
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  #9  
Old 07-27-2012, 09:59 AM
Dendarii Dame Dendarii Dame is online now
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If you go, or choose to give a gift, I'd recommend a gift card to a supermarket. They'll definitely need food/supplies, regardless of the ages of the children they foster.
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  #10  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:05 AM
Sigmagirl Sigmagirl is offline
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Agree with Dendarii Dame, or perhaps a card for a store like Target. Kid may come with the clothes on his or her back, and school is coming. If the child is school age, the foster parents will want to provide some nice things above whatever the stipend is; if not going to school yet, there are plenty of things there a kid will need.
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  #11  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:09 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Ask the age/s of the children. If infant, buy something new parents might not have thought of, like a Boppy pillow (good for bottle feeding or nursing, and great for propping wobbly babies or as an exercise aid for tummy time.) A stack of cloth diapers which make excellent burp cloths/all purpose rags. Fostering provides a small allowance for staples, but there isn't much left over after basic needs are met. How about educational toys, or soother like night lights, music boxes, mobiles or other crib accessories? Fostering is incredibly hard and emotionally taxing, and these parents deserve all the help that new parents rank, as well as kudos for taking care of society's unwanted kids. I hope this couple truly are showered with good advice, encouragement, and gifts.
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  #12  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:10 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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I was always under the impression that baby showers were traditionally for new first time parents to help them financially with getting the things they needed for their first kid.

As I understand it, foster parents get paid by the state to take on the responsibility for the child. Having a shower doesn't seem right, when the state is paying you.
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  #13  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:29 AM
lavenderviolet lavenderviolet is offline
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It's quite likely that your cousin is fostering this child with the plan to adopt the child if all goes well. A foster parent can specify that they only want to foster children that are already legally free for adoption if they're interested in adopting from foster care. I'd say treat it as you would any other celebration of a child's arrival.
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  #14  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:43 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
I was always under the impression that baby showers were traditionally for new first time parents to help them financially with getting the things they needed for their first kid.

As I understand it, foster parents get paid by the state to take on the responsibility for the child. Having a shower doesn't seem right, when the state is paying you.
State allowance barely covers basic clothing and grocery needs, with little left over for increased utilities. There is no money left over to pay for extracurricular activities like sports, exercise, and clubs. Foster kids don't have video games, bicycles, or loving families. Infants often suffer from a lack of bonding, addiction, or congenital illness. Older kids are aware they were unwanted, neglected, abused. These kids and the families willing to care for them, love them, and lose them deserve a celebration and a helping hand. As much moreso than natural families.
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  #15  
Old 07-27-2012, 11:26 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Originally Posted by Troppus View Post
State allowance barely covers basic clothing and grocery needs, with little left over for increased utilities. There is no money left over to pay for extracurricular activities like sports, exercise, and clubs. Foster kids don't have video games, bicycles, or loving families. Infants often suffer from a lack of bonding, addiction, or congenital illness. Older kids are aware they were unwanted, neglected, abused. These kids and the families willing to care for them, love them, and lose them deserve a celebration and a helping hand. As much moreso than natural families.
When's the last time you saw a video game, bicycle, or fees for soccer on a baby shower registry? Baby showers aren't traditionally for setting up an endowment to take care of the kid through adulthood. Typical gifts are clothing, diapers, infant toys, etc. kind of like basic clothing and grocery needs. You might see the grandparents chip in for the car seat or high chair.

OP asked if a baby shower was typical in a foster parent arrangement. The answer in my opinion is no. Now if you want to make an argument that even if it's not traditionally done, that it should be, then knock yourself out.
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  #16  
Old 07-27-2012, 11:35 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
I was always under the impression that baby showers were traditionally for new first time parents to help them financially with getting the things they needed for their first kid.

As I understand it, foster parents get paid by the state to take on the responsibility for the child. Having a shower doesn't seem right, when the state is paying you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Omar Little View Post
When's the last time you saw a video game, bicycle, or fees for soccer on a baby shower registry? Baby showers aren't traditionally for setting up an endowment to take care of the kid through adulthood. Typical gifts are clothing, diapers, infant toys, etc. kind of like basic clothing and grocery needs. You might see the grandparents chip in for the car seat or high chair.

OP asked if a baby shower was typical in a foster parent arrangement. The answer in my opinion is no. Now if you want to make an argument that even if it's not traditionally done, that it should be, then knock yourself out.
All showers are a gift grab. The argument could be made that anyone mature enough to bring a child into the world ought to have the resources to properly care for that child without expecting handouts. A charitable attitude and contribution towards homeless, unwanted, or neglected kids seems more appropriate than a greedy gift grab for a planned family. There, argument for bucking tradition made.
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  #17  
Old 07-27-2012, 11:42 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troppus View Post
All showers are a gift grab. The argument could be made that anyone mature enough to bring a child into the world ought to have the resources to properly care for that child without expecting handouts. A charitable attitude and contribution towards homeless, unwanted, or neglected kids seems more appropriate than a greedy gift grab for a planned family. There, argument for bucking tradition made.
Yes, yes, yes.
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  #18  
Old 07-27-2012, 11:58 AM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Originally Posted by Troppus View Post
There, argument for bucking tradition made.
Well done.
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  #19  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:13 PM
perfectparanoia perfectparanoia is offline
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My kids came out of the foster system. I assure you that they wanted for nothing in the foster home.

Most children who go into foster care are not babies. All they really need are some clothes and a toothbrush to start out.

The Children's Aid Society will help them get set up. And will provide respite care for if the foster parents need a break. And counselling if that is required.

The idea of a shower is bizarre.
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  #20  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:30 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Originally Posted by perfectparanoia View Post
My kids came out of the foster system. I assure you that they wanted for nothing in the foster home.

Most children who go into foster care are not babies. All they really need are some clothes and a toothbrush to start out.

The Children's Aid Society will help them get set up. And will provide respite care for if the foster parents need a break. And counselling if that is required.

The idea of a shower is bizarre.
CAS is a New York based charity, and not available in every region, nor is there a guarantee that an individual child's needs will be met.
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  #21  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:36 PM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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Originally Posted by perfectparanoia View Post
My kids came out of the foster system. I assure you that they wanted for nothing in the foster home.

Most children who go into foster care are not babies. All they really need are some clothes and a toothbrush to start out.

The Children's Aid Society will help them get set up. And will provide respite care for if the foster parents need a break. And counselling if that is required.

The idea of a shower is bizarre.
I suspect that things in Ontario are different than in all areas of the US.
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  #22  
Old 07-27-2012, 12:47 PM
LurkerInNJ LurkerInNJ is offline
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It could be a gift grab or it could be her wanting an experience that she feels she has missed out on and now she finally has a chance at being a mom.

Unless she has a habit of trying to steal the limelight, I would go along with it and make her happy.
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  #23  
Old 07-27-2012, 03:08 PM
SurrenderDorothy SurrenderDorothy is offline
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I would definitely go to that and be super excited for the new foster mom. It is a gift grab, but it's also a celebration. Baby showers I've been to are really as much about the attention and the stupid games and squealing over darling baby things and so forth as they are about the physical gifts.

See if you can find out what they know about the kids they'll be getting. If it's a foster-to-adopt deal, it won't be a matter of getting just about anything and being able to use it eventually for some kid. If they know they'll be taking only babies and toddlers, you'll have some direction there. If it's just going to be all over the map... get her a soccer ball or a set of Dr. Seuss books (or Winnie the Pooh or Peter Pan or whatever) or some Disney movies.

I see where it seems kind of tagged on compared to the other cousin's pregnancy, but that shouldn't take away from it. I think a foster shower is a great idea.
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  #24  
Old 07-27-2012, 04:57 PM
Ellen Cherry Ellen Cherry is offline
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Originally Posted by Incubus View Post
Whoops, that should read "Foster parent baby shower. Mods, could you change it?
I changed the thread title to read baby shower.

Ellen
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  #25  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:02 PM
Moonlitherial Moonlitherial is offline
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Originally Posted by Troppus View Post
All showers are a gift grab. The argument could be made that anyone mature enough to bring a child into the world ought to have the resources to properly care for that child without expecting handouts. A charitable attitude and contribution towards homeless, unwanted, or neglected kids seems more appropriate than a greedy gift grab for a planned family. There, argument for bucking tradition made.
I'll third or 4th this. I love baby showers and buying wee tiny clothing but I think I would be even more excited about a shower like this.

It's not just about the gifts either, if it's an older child what better way to show there is a whole family/community excited about their arrival.
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  #26  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:06 PM
Eureka Eureka is offline
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While there's a certain amount of validity to the "any shower is a gift-grab" mindset, I do think that showers are also about saying "We care about you" to the person being honored.

And I have to admit, I kind of enjoying making/giving baby things--most recently I knit two pair baby socks, and a baby bib for an alto in the church choir. Minimal cost in both dollars and time--which also was true of the shower itself.

I certainly support the giving both of things --including gift cards-- to make the new parent's life easier regardless of how the new child is acquired, and also the holding of a party for the new parent so that they can introduce the new child to the family and be supported in the choice of pursuing parenthood.
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  #27  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:17 PM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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I don't understand why people get all bothered about stuff like this. If you don't wanna go, don't go. I feel like the only people who would have a problem with this are the people who really see these events as nothing more than an opportunity to receive gifts. It's a ritual, a celebration, a positive thing. Gifts are the means of expression, but at its base it's about family.
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  #28  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:24 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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Originally Posted by olivesmarch4th View Post
Honestly I think you sound a little insensitive. She's having a kid. Doesn't matter how. It's a thing to celebrate.
This, squared. I'm certainly biased b/c I'm a wannabe mom who will never get to experience any of the mom things due to life's true suckage, and no, I've never heard of a Foster Baby Shower. What I have heard of is a celebration we threw for our friends who fostered-to-adopt 3 siblings. We called it a shower, we found out what they needed 1-2 more of and helped them. They deserved it.

Incubus, you can either participate or not but yes, I feel a new family deserves a celebration and they can call their happy occasion a 'Fish Sandwich for Tom Selleck Shower' if they want.
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  #29  
Old 07-27-2012, 06:27 PM
Morgenstern Morgenstern is online now
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Isn't a foster parent sort of a system of temporary custody for a child? Or do they adopt the child eventually? That would suck if they bonded and had to separate them. I'm all for giving kids in need whatever they need regardless of who they live with.
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  #30  
Old 07-27-2012, 08:29 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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I think there's nothing wrong with the shower idea. There is going to be a new member of the family who should be introduced and welcomed. That's what showers are for.

Also, lots of foster placements wind up perminant.
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  #31  
Old 07-27-2012, 08:52 PM
Kaio Kaio is offline
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With all the over the idea of the foster kid shower... really, all I can think of is imagining this poor kid overhearing some "friend" of mom's saying "But it's not like he's your REAL kid!"

I think foster kids have had it hard enough. Let the family celebrate this kid's existence and inclusion in their family as a good thing.
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  #32  
Old 07-27-2012, 10:59 PM
j666 j666 is offline
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So, I am obviously the only one slightly appalled the shower is being thrown by a relative?

I wouldn't give a gift card; showers aren't about a serious effort to defray the cost of raising a child, they are about giving a tangible token of your joy in the child's arrival.

(Of course, there's nothing wrong with including a gift receipt.)
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  #33  
Old 07-28-2012, 01:19 AM
Anaamika Anaamika is offline
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I never want to have a kid and personally hate showers but I'd go to this shower with a big smile on my face, and bring whatever I could. The woman is trying to make the best of a heartache, and is trying to get some joy out of being a parent.
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  #34  
Old 07-28-2012, 07:57 AM
Caricci Caricci is offline
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My sister takes in foster kids and, so far, she's had four different baby boys. Three were just days or weeks old but one was four months old at the time of placement. Sister is very impulsive and wants to adopt all of them but the goal is reunification and two, so far, have gone back. She has only ever gotten no more than two days notice and a number of false alarms, including one where she was all set to take a six month old girl with twelve hours notice. She tells me this is typical.

Now, honestly, how are you going to have a shower for a situation like this?

Luckily, in her case, she has a five year old boy and had tried for like four years to have another one so she saved all his stuff. It's a tough situation, but not well-served by a shower, IMO.
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  #35  
Old 07-28-2012, 09:48 AM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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Incubus, if you plan to attend the shower, ask the age range of the children, and we can list some useful items that aren't size or gender limited. Tear-proof shampoo, burp cloths or cloth diapers, infant gym, crib soother, crayons and coloring books for toddlers, etc
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  #36  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:40 AM
Blackberry Blackberry is offline
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So, I am obviously the only one slightly appalled the shower is being thrown by a relative?
What? Why?
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  #37  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:45 AM
Spice Weasel Spice Weasel is offline
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What? Why?
Because we live in the Victorian era, apparently.
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  #38  
Old 07-28-2012, 10:54 AM
needscoffee needscoffee is offline
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What? Why?
Showers are supposed to be held by friends rather than family. I disagree, esp for baby showers.
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  #39  
Old 07-28-2012, 12:15 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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I think it's odd that they are holding a baby shower for a foster situation. As said, this child may only be with her for days or weeks. That said, she may feel this is her only chance to have a shower and would like to have the experience. I would ask what is needed and participate.

I hear of adoptive children (from foster to adopt programs) showers, once it's all finalized, but not a new foster child shower.
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  #40  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:30 PM
Farmer Jane Farmer Jane is offline
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EmAnJ, I figured you'd be more supportive of the OP's cousin. Or does she not get a shower because it's not an adoption or a situation where she can shell out tens of thousands more to buy a kid?

Many foster babies don't come with much. It takes quite a bit to raise a child, even if it's just 'babysitting' for awhile. They'll need things...and what the OP's cousin is doing is pretty wonderful.

Last edited by Farmer Jane; 07-28-2012 at 02:31 PM..
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  #41  
Old 07-28-2012, 02:50 PM
EmAnJ EmAnJ is offline
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I am supportive, I just find it odd, partly because I've never heard of this type of shower.

Reflecting, I'm supportive mostly because of the emotions and pain behind the prospect of never having a baby shower. If she had other children, biological or otherwise, I think I'd be less supportive. I can empathize with the pain she must be feeling and the joy of finally having a child in her home and wanting to celebrate it. I just fear that she may lose the child in a few days or weeks and the purchase of child specific gifts as part of the shower might be for naught and even more painful for her down the road.

That said, perhaps, as mentioned, she's in the foster to adopt program and this child is eligible for adoption relatively soon. Removing custody from the parent(s) can take a long time, and in the process the child is considered a ward of the state (or province) and therefore a foster child until legally available for adoption. This may be an almost sure thing and it's just legalities at this point. Personally, I'd be too scared to have a shower until the papers are signed!

Last edited by EmAnJ; 07-28-2012 at 02:51 PM.. Reason: Clarification
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  #42  
Old 07-28-2012, 04:07 PM
Troppus Troppus is offline
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I would attend such a shower with intentions of celebrating with the new foster parents and providing a few essentials for child care and possibly a couple toys the child might keep whether he or she stays or leaves. This seems more like chipping in on a charitable act more than a gift grab. Think of the good this mother will be doing! I'm excited for her and proud, and don't even know her. Fostering is a hard, scary, unknown, and the potential for broken hearts is huge. But so is the potential reward.

Last edited by Troppus; 07-28-2012 at 04:07 PM..
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  #43  
Old 07-28-2012, 04:08 PM
Blackberry Blackberry is offline
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Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
Showers are supposed to be held by friends rather than family. I disagree, esp for baby showers.
Yeah, I really don't see what difference it makes. Holding a shower for yourself like people occasionally do does seem tacky, but almost all of the showers I've been to have been held by family. Mine was held by my sister and friend together, so I guess I was half okay.
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  #44  
Old 07-28-2012, 07:01 PM
even sven even sven is online now
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If it wasn't so glaringly obvious what was going on, maybe you'd have some room for a point. But this woman has quite clearly gone through a lot, and although her original dream didn't work out and she has found a new path, she's probably still longing for some of the "normal" rites of passage that come with becoming a mother. I can't imagine the courage it must take to give up on having a child and embarking on a different vision of motherhood that comes with a whole new world of challenges. Why would you begrudge someone who has gone through so much a party? Even if your first reaction is to raise your eyebrows, wouldn't your second reaction be to realize that this is a human being who you like, and to throw the etiquette books away?

I think everyone basically gets one baby shower in their lifetime, and I'm not going to judgey about the exact details. A baby shower isn't some kind of merit badge for successfully fertilizing an egg. It's a celebration to welcome a young new family member (whoever they are) and to be around your loved ones as part of a community. It's one of the ways we mark time and the stages of our lives. Whatever form it takes, the transition from "no kids" to "caregiver" is a huge and meaningful one. Sure, she has a slightly different path, but becoming a foster parent is worth celebrating, too.

I'd raise my eyebrows if someone had a second shower (unless it had been many, many years since their first child was born), but other than that, why not? Parties are fun!
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