I remember before I was a Foster parent I rarely heard anything about it but when I did it was a lot of negative things! Being a Foster parent can have its hard times but it’s very rewarding! So let me start by responding to these comments made by those who don’t know much about Foster care!
“You’re taking in foster kids? You are such a good person!”
Yes, I do my good in this world but when it comes down to it the day to day grind is anything but pretty. I don’t feel like I’m doing much good when I’m cleaning poopy diapers, putting kids in time out, saying no a thousand times, picking melted candy off my floors, treasuring nap times cause the kids are quiet and so on and so on. I do see how you see it though, looking from the outside in you think wow she takes in children who were pulled from their homes, she must be a saint! 99% of the time I would just laugh at that statement and then there is that 1% of the time where I actually have time to stop for a moment and think ya, maybe I am doing something good!
“Wow those kids are so lucky that you rescued them.”
I know some people think the kids were rescued and taken from the worst of the worst homes and now they should be content and happy because they now have food on their plates and are spoiled with tons of toys and a loving home, NOT TRUE at all. Most of these kids, it’s there first time in foster care and they are being taken from the only home and the only environment that they’ve ever known. It’s hard on them, really hard and scary! These kids are the bravest kids I’ve ever met because if that would have happened to me as a kid I don’t know that I could survive! Ya they might not get the food they need or even the love they need from their birth parents but that’s home to them and we always have to remember this is not all fun and games, they do miss there home and there old life no matter how good their Foster parents house is.
“How do you deal with all those awful birth parents?”
I’ve been in it long enough to know most of the birth parents are actually nice people who have just made a wrong choice in their life. And most of them are desperately trying and working very hard to get their child back. Having open communication with the birth parents makes it easier for the child and that should be first priority!
“Isn’t it hard loving these kids when you know they could leave at any moment?”
Some days are harder then others, we just take it day by day. Just knowing that they will be loved and supported when they are with us is enough to make it a little easier. We’re not always sure what they go home to because they leave the Foster parents in the dark as far as their home life but we know that we are pouring love on them while they are here!
“You get paid to just stay at home with kids?”
Yes, I get paid, it’s not enough though. It’s about 94 cents an hour, and we have to pay for clothes which is a huge mandatory expense, food, allowance, medicine, and of course all the fun outings and toys they get which at our house is an over abundance of! So in the end it’s not much, especially for the amount of work involved. Several Social workers visit your house weekly, so you always have to have your house cleaned up, then you got doctors appointments, therapist appointments and so on and so on. It’s worth it to see the kids taken care of but I’ve heard some people saying Foster parents just do it for the money and that’s not the case at all!
“Those kids must be a handful since they’re in foster care.”
It’s funny, I thought this too while I was going through my Foster care training and I was pleasantly surprised with the children I got because they were angels compared to the stories I heard! Yes some kids in the Foster system come with problems just because of what they have been through but a lot of them are very well behaved kind children just looking for someone to love them!
“When are you going to adopt these kids?”
Most of the children we get are not adoptable. The first priority in foster care is to be reunited with the birth parents! And then next comes family of the birth parents and then if they absolutely can’t find anyone, then and only then will you be able to adopt. So the chances of adoption are very low and there is no way to tell if the child coming into your care will be adoptable later down the road. Adopting through Foster care is just a big risk. A lot of people including myself become a Foster parent because they want to adopt a child with very low costs and while that can happen the odds of it happening are quite low. That’s why we feel so blessed to have adopted Madison so soon, she was our little miracle baby!
Now hopefully I’ve answered some of the questions and myths about being a Foster parent! I know you don’t usually hear much about it so I hope this helped! Let me know if you have any questions or you have your own story about being a Foster parent I’d love to hear it!