Sunday, March 11, 2007

My New Moral Dilemma

For several years now I have been giving thought to becoming a foster parent to a teenage girl. Let me re-emphasize that TO A TEENAGE GIRL. I'm not looking to raise a young child up, or become a single mother. I've always felt selfish and irresponsible spending all my money on myself and all my time on myself. It just isn't me. I want to be able to provide a good home to someone who deserves it. There are so many teenagers in group homes, or even in juvenile detention centers, because there aren't enough foster homes to take them in. I would really like to be a mentor or "big sister" or even just a very helpful friend, and open my home to a teenage girl so that she can become stable and be prepared for the real world.
There are several steps I have to take before I get to the point where I can take in a girl. For instance, I can't have roommates, and need to have a 2 bedroom place obviously. I also can't have a job that requires me to travel. These are the last 2 steps on my way to becoming a foster parent. So here I am at a crossroads. I am job hunting and have the power to get a job that wouldn't require travel.
I have 2 (maybe 3) lines of work I can go into. The first is serious trade show planning. This tends to pay considerably better, but obviously requires major travel. The second is marketing, which means no travel, but less money because I have fewer years of experience in it. (The third would be meeting planning, but I haven't found a job in that area that I like enough to apply to yet.) So I have this dilemma. The job that pays well enough for me to afford to be a foster parent is the job that keeps me away too much to be able to do it. Or take the less paying job and become a parent. But with less money I wouldn't get to be the type of foster parent I want to be. I'm torn between wanting more money and doing what I feel is right.
I could use some input on this one. And this is one I think is especially hard for singles. Marrieds tend to make decisions based on the well-being of the family. But singles have only themselves to look out for. Which is more important? Making more money or doing something good?
If you feel you must comment on whether or not it is appropriate for a single girl to be a foster parent, then go ahead and make it if you must. However, don't expect your comments to phase me. I am not looking to be a single mother. I do believe all children deserve 2 parents in a stable home. However, I do think it is a crime that a child should be forced to live in a detention center when they have never done anything wrong, when there are thousands of selfish people in this world buying $300 sunglasses and Prada handbags and spending all their time and money on themselves while sporting "Save the World" bumper stickers. How about you forego just one purse and pair of sunglasses a year and instead help out a child that truly deserves it? A child that lives in your own town?


  1. Do/will you have *enough* to make it in the marketing job, even if it took a little harder work? If so, I'd go for it. If not, I'd go for the higher-paying job and save like crazy, so that in a year or two you might be able to afford, say, a downpayment on a home and be able to make that dream come true.

    But it sounds like your decision is much more complicated than that. Your heart is in the right place, though, and I think as you ponder and pray about it that you'll find the solution that works. Perhaps the right option--your door #3--hasn't come along yet.

    And good for you for wanting to serve someone who needs it! The only reason I am where I am today is because there were people like that in my life in my late teens. For me, it was a number of influential individuals--a YW president, my grandma, several teachers, my boyfriend and his family--but each of them showed me that the life I'd been raised to believe was all I deserved could be something more.

  2. Anonymous10:30 AM

    Take the higher paying job with travel. But take it with the goal to save money so that in five years you will have enough saved up (or already have) that 2 bedroom place and the saved up money so that you can take on the foster child and money wont be one of your concerns.

  3. Jules1:36 PM

    Interesting. I would have said to take the lower paying job and become a foster parent now. But Stacer and anonymous make a good point. You might have more to offer a few years down the road after saving and buying a home.


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