Allot of people worry about how being a foster family will affect their forever kids (kids already in your home). Its a valid concern. There are some extreme (and exaggerated) cases out there that I am sure you’ve heard of through your local busy body.
Apart from that their is the emotional roller coaster that your forever kids will experience.
I’m not going to lie to you and tell you it will be a piece of cake for your precious kiddos or for you. It won’t be. I get it because I’ve experienced it. I’ve comforted Mr. H as his heart filled with sadness that his (foster) brother Sam and his (foster) sister Olivia wouldn’t be coming home to him again. He was crushed and it was hard. I’ve watched as he experienced the loss of most of my attention since there were very traumatized children that needed me. I’ve seen the bite marks Sam gave him that nearly drew blood.
When I contemplated these things I seriously considered never fostering again. I would just make myself stop caring about all the other kids out there who need homes (as if). I would simply let go of my dreams of a big family or I would find a different way to expand our family. My son just might end up an only child who spent a lot of time with friends in order to satiate his desire for great amounts of social interaction.
As I comforted my little boy and pondered all these things the thought came to “It is good for him”. It was a calm and peaceful thought that was definitely not my own. In fact I credit it to the Holy Spirit. Why then is it a good thing for my son to experience these things? Upon reflection I realized that these experiences are teaching him things in a way no other experience will so vibrantly provide. Being a foster family is providing me with a wealth of opportunities to teach my son that I might not have had or noticed. Even better, we are having all of these teaching opportunities with him at home while he is young. He is learning things that probably wouldn’t have come up before grade school, but these lessons are preparing him for what he will face when he finely starts spending most of his waking hours outside our home.
In the end, its totally worth it.
This post it part 1 of a series.