Foster parents are in an interesting predicament concerning the relationship you have with your children. You care for all of them. You provide for all their needs. You love them. Some you will love immediately; among, the first glance something within you will connect with that child, and you will be in love. Others you will grow to love them. As days pass and this child grows you will see the artistry of God in your kids. My job asks us to love these kids. I wish they just asked us to parent them. That would be worlds easier than loving them. Is it even possible to parent someone without loving them?
Loving my kids is hard. No, not because of behavioral issues, but because they are not my own. My kids get taken
Being a foster parent is different from being an adoptive parent and worlds away from being a biological parent. I feel the only thing foster parents and adoptive parents have in common is that the children are not biologically ours. Apart from that adoptive parents choose their children and are given time to get to know that child. In this foster care situation, I never know when I’ll receive a new child or have one taken away. Oddly, whatever the time frame you have a child you will love them.
It may be when the office calls and you meet them for the first time. Other cases, it is when you are packing their bags away. There is no child, I have had that I didn’t love at some point. Sometimes, the love is found in the time before bed, when we cuddle. It is found when crying with them. It is found in silly dances. It is found on bent knees and folded hands as I lift them up to heaven. It is in tearful goodbyes and one last hug. I have found love twenty different ways. (quick tribute to my kids)
- I have found love in seeing a child struggle with hating themselves
- I have found love in a little one who was hated by her family
- I have found love in one who was simply beautiful
- I have found love in aggression
- I have found love in late nights and my name shouted with glee
- I have found love in a child who sleeps through the night
- I have found love in watching a baby grow into a toddler
- I have found love in a purple tutu and a kid who struts their stuff
- I have found love in a chunky child who got stuck in small places
- I have found love in a child who found a home
- I have found love in the question, “Why?”
- I have found love in Broadway level theatricality
- I have found love in a child who I could have run away with and who my heart will forever be broken for
- I have found love in a little baby chicken
- I have found love in a child who has simply flourished in the past two months
- I have found love in mischievousness
- I have found love in mood swings
- I have found love in attention seeking
- I have found love in two days
- I have found love in silly gestures and mannerisms
However. I find it wondrous to love children. I find it challenging to love them. I guess because in my head when I they are with me (even though they don’t call me mama) I am their parent. I am their mom. I want the best for them. At night I paint their futures in a sparkling array of adventures and accomplishments. I celebrate their accomplishments. I hang my head in heartache at their failures. I want them to be the best self that they can be.
As a foster parent you are continuously putting your heart out on the line knowing that the end will result in heartbreak. However, you will do it all again simply for the chance to love them.