There are many questions that come with being a foster parent. Over the past 6 years we have heard and answered our fair share. Below,in no particular order, are some of those questions and comments that we have heard more times than we can count.
1. Are all those kids really yours?
The answer to this one is Yes they are. Every child that comes thru our home is one of our kids. While they are with us, they recieve the same love, the same attention, and are treated the same as our own children. I don’t care if we have only one or 20, if they are in our house they are our children. We maybe the only chance they have to see what a family is suppose to be like so while here they are our kids.
2. You must get paid really well to take is so many unwanted kids? First off, just because they are in foster care does not mean they are unwanted kids. Things happen in life and kids end up in state care, that does not mean they are unwanted. Second, are we in it for the money? Seriously?? The stipen foster parents recieve is minimal. Yes they recieve a medical card for their health care needs which is nice, but the “money” given to care for the child goes fast. I mean seriously have you bought school clothes or kids shoes lately? In fact most foster parents I know spend more that what they recieve taking care of the children. If you hear of a foster family making money taking care of the kids then they are either lying or not taking care of the kids the way the should. Foster care is not a way to get rich. Shame on you for thinking it’s about money. It’s about saving the kids.
3. I could never be a foster parent, I would love them to much and never want them to go back.
This one gets to me. Do I look like a cold hearted witch? Do you think I don’t have feelings for these children? Do you think I want to have my heart ripped out time after time after time? Fostering is not for everyone. It’s hard. It can be emotionally draining on oneself and trying on a marriage. I do have a heart. It has been torn into pieces over our kids leaving many times. Yes we have adopted five but we have had more than 20 placements in our six years. We have had our share of pain and lose. Everytime a child has been removed form our home, either to go back to their birth parents or to be placed with their new forever family, my heart has been broken. I have loved them ALL. I have cried myself to sleep many nights wondering how they are doing in now while wishing I could see them one more time.
I am sure that this comment is not meant the way it comes out. But every time I hear it I want to scream. It’s the momma bear in me.
4. What did the baby/kid do to land himself/herself in foster care?
I was at the dentist with our 4 year old and had my, at the time 6 month old with me. The receptionist and I knew each other so we were talking and a lady in the waiting room overheard us. When I sat down she quickly asked me what the 6 month old did to get herself placed in state care. I was floored. Let’s get something straight, a six month old does nothing wrong to get herself placed in state care. It’s the birth parents life choices that placed her there….not hers. Most of the kids in care are there because of what their birth parents did, yes that includes older kids in care. I am sure that they are some children in care because of their own drug addictions or because their parents cant handle them but for the majority it’s not about they “have done” but about what their parents have done. Don’t just assume the child is a bad seed because they are in state care.
5. If you can adopt or pick your child why choose one with special needs?
We have three that are considered special needs. Any child can be born with something wrong. Even if you give birth to a child that does not mean your child will be perfectly healthy. ALL CHILDREN DESERVE LOVING HOMES. Its not about their limitations. Children are children and all need to be treated as such. Our son’s have shown us so many different ways to see the world and how to love unconditionally. Just because they are labeled special needs by what is considered normal society means nothing to us. They have taught us more about life than anyone else could.
6. There’s not a need for foster parents in our area. That’s just happens in bigger cities.
Kids can be exposed to drugs, abuse, neglect and violence anywhere. It can be in big cities or small country towns. It can be in white neighborhoods or black neighborhoods, rich areas or poor. The need for good foster families is everywhere. There are thousands of children in group homes because there are not enough individual foster families out there. Research our area. Call the local DHHR to see how big the need is.
Instead of questioning a foster parent be supportive. Offer to pray for them and the new additions to the family. Be there for them to talk to, maybe offer to babysit, or cook dinner. Don’t criticize them because their family is larger than the normal family or because the kids are wilder than you think they should be. Kids in foster care have seen more, been through more, and dealt with more than most adults. Be supportive of those trying to make a difference.
And if you happen to be a foster parent yourself don’t get upset if it seems other foster parents recieve more calls than you do or get jealous because. “they got to adopt another child” We are all in this together. It’s all about helping the kids survive the process until they can return home or until they become part of a forever family. Be happy for each other support each other. We all can make a difference one child(one placement) at a time. We are all given the chance everyday to make a positive difference in someone’s life. Take that chance and make it count.
From our beautiful chaos to yours make a difference today.