Foster parenting has created a sense of urgency within me to make a difference in the lives of those in need. Perhaps it is due to the children’s horror stories that I have been witness to, and have watched come through my home. I now am able to see the pain and suffering in others, and am better equipped to help them. To be sure, I have always been one that has wanted to help others, but since I have become a foster parent to children who have suffered from abuse, from neglect, and from being abandoned, all by those who profess to love them the most-their birth family members, I have felt compelled to help even more.
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Before I was a foster parent, I had misconceptions. I had misconceptions about the children and about foster parents. I thought that the children were “bad kids” and that foster parents were “weird people.” Well, to be honest with you, I got one thing right. I WAS wrong about the children; the children that come to my home are only seeking for someone to love them in a healthy fashion. What I was right about, though, is the foster parents. We do need to be just a little “weird,” in order to do what we do. It is a difficult job, at times, and we do make certain sacrifices in order to care for these children in need.
To be sure, the vast majority of foster parents I meet are the same way. We care for these children because we DO care. Is it easy? Not always. Do we see signs of reward? Many times the answer is no. Do others place false assumptions and judgments upon us foster parents? All the time, and not just strangers, but sometimes my friends and even my family members. I have found that the general society does not really understand or appreciate what foster care is about. They do not realize what foster children go through each day, nor for that matter what foster parents go through, either.
Sure, my heart breaks when they leave. I am not a super hero. I do grieve when they leave my family. My heart does hurt. Yet, these children need someone to hurt for them. They need someone to protect them. These children need someone to care for them, and provide stability. These children need someone to love them. These children need me. I am that foster parent.
Yes, the need is so very strong. With over 450,000 children in foster care on any given day, and not enough homes or families open to caring for these children, there is a very strong need for foster parents today. Sadly, the need is just as strong, if not more so, than ever before.
Perhaps it is a call you can answer as well. Perhaps you will allow your own heart to break, as you change the life of a child in need.
I am on a mission. The mission is Foster10k.
A mission to recruit 10,000 new foster parents by the year 2020.
Join me. Change your life.
Change the life of a child in need.
Change the world.