One thing I would like to let others know about foster care is that it is not for everyone. Although adoption/fostering has added depth and greater purpose to our lives, it can open many negative avenues that you have never thought of. In a negative light, I would encourage any potential foster parent to enter the fostering realm with eyes wide open. Search your heart and go into this not with a Hallmark channel movie playing in your head of how this will be, but talk to some long time foster parents and see what daily life will really be like.
While there is long-term good that comes out of it, you have to be careful who you allow into your home and have to learn as much about them as possible before they move in with your children and pets. I am sorry to sound a bit jaded, but it is the truth.
Now that I’ve been gloom and doom, let me tell you that I believe this was meant to be our path in life, and maybe it is yours too. All of the children and teens that we have cared for have made all the strain, pain and stress worth it. We would do it all again (and probably will!). We are now called “Mom” and “Dad” by young men that, when they lived with us, had never called us “Mom” and “Dad.” We have had young men call us and thank us for all we have done for them, and apologized for all the rough times they had given us. This is an endurance event folks, there are very few times you will have an instant victory. Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Oh, yes. IT WAS WORTH IT!
We continue to foster because we have hope that eventually there are breakthroughs, because there is still a need, and because we physically and emotionally still can. We have seen and know that eventually things get better, and that is an AMAZING experience! To go through all the suffering and some really difficult behaviors with the children and eventually you see the child getting past those. They not only get past those, but they grow and GLOW beyond what you had ever imagined or dreamed. You look next to you one day and there is this smiling, very interesting, happy, polite, compassionate little human being smiling back up at you. Wow, just wow! Was it easy? No. Was it worth it? Oh, yes. IT WAS WORTH IT!