When I am fostering, they’re my kids until DCS says they aren’t.
Foster care can be so hard sometimes, even draining. However, it is more so the policies and procedures and less about the children placed with me.
Foster parents are told to love the kiddos like our own biological (if we have bio kids).
For me, that’s not hard at all. Loving them is the easy part. Dealing with the system is where the difficulties come in. It’s kind of like a co-parenting situation, but they have the final say.
Yes, I can treat them like my own; however, for a doctor’s visit, I need to remember to have that Health form to be completed by the doctor after every visit and if they have a cough and I feel they need OTC medicine, I have to make sure I get it logged on the medication form.
If I want to do a spur of the moment trip out of town, maybe not!
If it’s out of the state, I need to make sure I get that travel letter that may or may not make it to me on time. One, because it is spur of the moment. And two, I know I’m not the only foster home on my caseworker’s load, so spur of the moment cannot happen as often as I’d like.
Some people tell me, “Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus,” “Bless your heart,” or “I don’t see how you do it.” But my favorite is when they ask, “Why do you foster?” I love that question, because it is where I can honestly tell them, that yes this is a VERY hard calling, especially when you get attached (spoiler alert : it’s always instantaneous.)
I foster because I love kids. And though I may have them for a short while and it will hurt when they leave; one thing I know is that they felt loved and safe.
I want the kids to know how a family unit is supposed to feel, whether that’s a two parent home, single parent home, or living with grandparents. They will experience love, get help working through their pain, and laugh as often as possible. If we have them for their birthday, they’re going to experience the same traditions as my kiddos: mini breakfast party with the family the morning of their birthday, lunch with me, and of course a party with friends.
My kids are in extra-curricular activities of their choice, and you better believe I’m making that happen for my foster kids as well. If mama bear needs to come out because I don’t feel fair treatment is taking place, mama bear is coming out for my fosters. Their grades and conferences with the teachers are just as important as those with my biological children. When my opinion is asked on what I feel is best regarding the kids, that opinion will be heard.
I will fight for them until the end, as long as I have that right. When they are sad because they’re homesick, I will be there to hear them, to comfort them. When it’s time for the kids to leave, whether going home with their parents or to another family member, they will know they were loved, and the family will know that if they ever need me for anything, they can reach out. I’m here.
I may feel like I’m at the mercy of the State, but so are these kids. Every kid that has come to my home will always have such a special place in my heart. They’ll always be my kiddo, my baby, regardless of where they are. They are worth every heartache I may experience. I can handle it. Easing their heartache is my first priority.
They need to know that whatever the fight, they are worth fighting for and worth loving. They deserve to feel safe and happy no matter where they are.
Are YOU interested in fostering? Here is how I did it: https://memphismom.wpengine.com/mom/from-foster-to-forever-an-interview/