I don’t vent (much) on here, but was just thinking about some of the things that get a little annoying as a foster parent. And I *know* that most people do not mean harm or ill will, so I figured maybe I could pass along a little education so that next time you meet a foster parent, you won’t say anything offensive.
For the record, I really don’t get offended.. just a little annoyed.
Here it goes;
*Please don’t ask if I have any “real” children. All of my children are real. None are made out of plastic. And even if they aren’t my children forever, they are my children from the day that they come into our home. And they will always be my children in my heart, even after they leave.
*It’s rude to ask where my kids came from. They all came into the world the same way you or I did. They were born to a mother. They have a father. And it shouldn’t matter if their birth parents are here or there.
*Yes, my children know they aren’t biologically mine. Most of mine look nothing like me!
*I can’t tell you what happened with their biological parents. Would you like it if I were out an about airing the worst of your deeds to all of the general public?
*I don’t know when they will go home.
*Yes, it is very hard to “give them back”. But, they have a family. And I want the very best for my kids.
*No, I do not have a special place in heaven. Nor do I view what I do as God’s work. Honestly, I started fostering out of my own selfish want to be a parent. Now that we took the leap, we know we can handle it and we want to continue to help children. You could do the same. Even a small thing can help the life of a child. So, stop making me out to be a hero and look inside yourself for what you could do to help society–even if foster children aren’t your passion, you certainly could be doing good somewhere.
*Yes, I have my hands full, but it’s not really a compliment when you comment on it like that.
*Even though I am Caucasian, it hurts me deeply when you make racist comments. Those are my children you are talking about.
*Just like my children aren’t plastic, neither am I. I am the “real” mom. The woman who gave birth is also real, she’s the biological mom. I’m either the adoptive mom or the foster mom or just mom. You’re pick. Just keep in mind that none of this is pretend. It’s all very real!
*Just because my children weren’t planned (per say) and we didn’t wait around 9 months for them, does not mean they should be celebrated any less. I’m not saying that there needs to be a shower for every child who comes into a home, but if you’d make a dish for a new mom, it’d be nice to offer a meal for a new foster parent.
*The behaviors you see from my kids are not because they are bad kids. Every behavior is an expression of a need. But, when kids go through trauma and neglect sometimes they don’t learn the “correct” (whatever that means) expression. My kids have to go through and unlearn and awful lot and we’re all trying really hard here.
*There are about a bazillion easier ways to get rich than through foster care.
*The foster parents you see on the news are not the normal foster parents. They’re usually horrible people. Please do not judge me based on the news.
*Foster parents don’t look a certain way, they aren’t a set religion. There’s no set age. Each parent who chooses to foster makes that decision for his or her own reasons. You really can’t pick us out of a crowd.
*Adoptions are a *big* deal! I didn’t just have an accident with a condom. I have fought for my kids. I have gone to court. I have cried with joy and wept with sorrow. I don’t even know what else to say about it. Just know that when we invite you to celebrate with us, when we share the news about an adoption… it’s very important to us.
*If you’re buying gifts for one of our children, please include all of them. If you can’t afford to buy for all of them, don’t buy anything at all. If you want, just buy one thing for them to share. Or just go to the dollar store. I will cover for you, or try, but it hurts my feelings as much (if not more) that my kids. I love them all. I hate that some people can’t see that. If anything, my foster kids need more than our forever kids.
*Nearly all foster children just show up with the clothes on their body. And we know nothing about them. No child should have to go without. No child should have to lose a family.
*My children aren’t going to just “get over” being in foster care. Even when they’re adults, they will still have two sets of parents. Please continue to respect us and them as we continue to learn and grow together.
*Although I may be crazy. Me being a foster parent is not the evidence 🙂
*Even though we don’t say it often enough, and despite the fact that our actions and words might be evidence to the contrary, we appreciate the people who’ve stood by us. We know that this process is hard on our friends and family, too. We are sorry that our kids have taken away the friend, daughter, son, sister, parent that we used to be. We aren’t busier on purpose. We don’t want to take you for granted. Thank you for being there for us!