Monday, November 15, 2010


I wanted to jot down some thoughts about what I've learned while being a Foster Parent. I've been licensed for over a year now, and T has been with me almost a year. I've also provided respite care.

Not all children want to be adopted.

Foster kids think we're broken, too. They have fears about foster care, and know that they are considered outcasts. My most recent respite girl told me that when she went into FC that her parents told her that we were all evil and would hurt her. :( yikes.

The kids I've had don't fully understand my situation. Even they question adoption and why I've become a parent the way I have. Not question in a bad way, but they definitely ask questions.

Part of me thinks that T will stay with me longer than we thought... hopefully, into her first semester of college, even. I say this because someone asked her if she was 18 why didn't she leave... and she said... she doesn't have anywhere else to go. And the way she said it kind of broke my heart. I hate it for her that she hasn't had a stable home-life prior to FC. And even in FC she was with another family before me. And I understand why she might not think it all puppies and roses when she thinks of FC. It really is a double-edged sword.

All I can do is try to be the base of that sword and keep her as close to me as possible. Trying to not let her get hurt on those sharp edges if I can help it. Soften the edges, even, if possible.

My basis of understanding is different from T's. (my family might be a bit dysfunctional, but it is still full-well in tact)

Her basis of understanding is different from Lil M's. (her family is definitely dysfunctional, and she struggles to keep it)

Lil M's basis of understanding is also different, and no less complicated. (her family is me and someone she may never, ever know. she didn't get to keep it, dysfunctional or not. and then, of course, she does have our family... )

I set out to change the world... and instead, it sought out and won a change in me. (seems like there might be a famous quote similar to this thought, but it escapes me - might be "I set out to change the world, and instead it changed me".)

I don't know what it all means. But I do know that fostering is important. Adoption is important. And above all FAMILY is important. They both are good in some ways. They are both painful.

I pray that those families that can be healed before foster or adoption need to occur are able to be healed. I pray that even if they can't be healed prior to FC or adoption, that they be healed someday. I do pray for peace for all their broken hearts... there are just too many.

This is National Adoption Month. Please help our children in any way you can... mentoring, fostering, adopting are all beneficial and there is great need for children everywhere to be supported and loved.

Added... when I said I wanted to change the world, I didn't mean that quite as literally as it sounded. But I do believe that we can be the change we want to see in the world. I also know that even though others don't always understand me, nor me them... that I respect many family types and I pray that other peoples' hearts start opening up to that fact, as well. I am so blessed and at peace with where God would have me in this world. It is my heart song that we love the Lord our God, and our neighbors as ourselves.



Laraf123 said...

Before each of my boys were born, I researched adoption and foster care. I did not find positive social workers/casemanagers, so in my pursuit of a family-building I took a different road. But I've said it once and I'll say it again, you are truly an inspiration. The world (and it's children) need lots more people like you.

DannieA said...

I concur with this post. I've been blessed to live in an area where social services does do it's best to try to heal families and to make sure kids taste a stable life, but it's a system that can break a lot of hearts in the process.