October is Foster Parent Appreciation month and I think there are a few things we could all appreciate!
If you never had a family member end up in foster care… be thankful for the family you grew up in.
If you never had a neighbour who’s children had to be apprehended by Children’s Services and be placed in a foster home… be thankful for the neighbourhood you grew up in!
If you never had a classmate who had to be placed in a foster home due to the circumstances in their home… be thankful for the school you attended.
The best case scenario is always a home where the adults are coping well enough to care for their children’s needs; physically as well as developmentally, emotionally and spiritually.
We all want to hope for a world where people have the capacity to deal with trauma and hardship in a way that doesn’t negatively impact the next generation! I would love to celebrate that world and see the need for foster care disappear! As a foster parent, I would love to find myself out of a job because there are no more children who must be taken from their home and placed with strangers for their own safety.
That world doesn’t exist yet and unfortunately I don’t know if it ever will! The rising rates of mental illness, addictions and cycles of abuse continue to fuel the need for foster homes.
So this month we will appreciate foster parents and the work they do to make the world a better place!
Thank you for the foster parents who take in newborn babies of mothers who couldn’t beat their addiction in spite of being pregnant. As they walk the floor with a screaming infant who is going through withdrawal for days they are changing the world for that little one.
Thank you for the foster parents who take in toddlers who are developmentally delayed because of neglect. They spend hours reading, playing and going to appointments to try and mend the gap for this little one.
Thank you for the foster parents taking in an elementary child and helping them adapt to a new school… again… They meet with teachers, connect with other parents to try and integrate the child into the new environment. They help with homework, drive to activities and deal with the massive meltdown after school from an exhausted child who has spent all the emotional energy they have trying to smile, be polite and cooperate all day.
Thank you for the foster parents taking in teenagers and loving them through the tumultuous years of adolescence! Hard years for most, but even more so for teens who have abandonment issues, self esteem problems and a trauma history they are not yet mature enough to navigate through. Hormones are hard!
Thank you for the foster parents who take a sibling group and have an instant family with all the sibling dynamics that come with it. They take over a tribe and try to love them all in their various stages!
Thank you for the foster parents who take the call at 2am and welcome an exhausted and scared child out of tragic circumstances.
Thank you for the foster parents who take kids for a week and those who raise kids til they’re 18.
Thank you for the foster parents who actively love the other mother in all of her brokenness and help her work towards health.
Thank you for the foster parents who have navigated a global pandemic and all the crazy twists and turns that has taken us through, and kept loving kids and masking up through it all.
The rolls are many and the job has endless variations.
If you are thinking about taking up the challenge please reach out and start the process of becoming a foster home. There is an endless need!
So this month if you know a foster parent… let them know you appreciate what they do to make the world a better place for children by opening their home and heart to the least of these!
In the midst of the mess