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How to Write Your Autobiography, Part 1

2011 December 12


A mountain of paper work awaits you, some of it redundant and much of it in questionnaire form where you’ll need to think about and articulate your views on discipline, relationships with your family, how you view your spouse, and so on. Some of it can get very specific and personal, you might even think prying, but it’s an important step in the process.

Part of the process is writing your autobiography, which very well may be the Holy Grail of Procrastination. Even if you’re used to writing the task can seem a little daunting, and if you are not used to writing it can seem impossible. But the sooner you tackle this the sooner it’s done and checked off your list. (And you will have a checklist; a really big one.)

Fortunately the agency will tell you pretty much what they want you to include and if you use the method I’ll show you later, you can knock this one off before the week is out and put a big checkmark on your checklist!

Our agency asked me to address these points or questions:

  • Your background.
  • Significant event(s) in your life.
  • Why do you want to do foster parenting?
  • How will foster parenting fit into your life?
  • Describe your spiritual life.

This is a great help! If we treat these like essay questions, we literally have our work cut out for us; and I mean that in a good way.

Your background should include where you were born, number of siblings and birth order, your relationship with siblings and parents (i.e, who you were closest with), etc. Don’t copy an episode of Leave It to Beaver or The Brady Bunch. It’s okay to include the bad things because your experiences help in equipping you to empathize with others; especially children.

Significant event or events are just that: something big happened, or a series of events, that shaped you and affected the way you look at life. How might these experiences help you in helping a child?

Why do you want to be a foster parent? The agency wants to know; and they want to know that you know. Articulating your calling in writing lets them and you know why you want to do this. Don’t just say “I feel called”, but explain how God has equipped you for the task.

How will fostering fit into your life? Think about the the adjustments your going to have to make to your current lifestyle, even if you already have kids. If you don’t have children now, like us, things are going to change big time. What’s going to be challenging and what are you looking forward to?

Describe your spiritual life. The Christian agency will want to know how long you’ve been saved, Bible reading habits, what you think about prayer, and so forth. As part of your references they already checked to see that you are a member of the church and at that at least one of the pastors or an elder would recognize you on sight. What is your personal relationship with Jesus? What’s your Christian walk like?

Think about these things for now and next time I’ll show you how to lay this out on your screen so that you can pound it out in a evening!

Photo: “Quill” by Rana Majumber

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