Thursday, April 15, 2010

“Foster Kid” Label

I am a big Grey’s Anatomy fan.  It is my guilty pleasure.  I just recently watched the April 1st show (from my DVR) and got a little miffed, though.  You know the one, Alex’s brother shows up unexpectedly. 
Well he starts telling everyone about their childhood and Alex’s past.  Then it happened.  “Alex was a foster kid?”  “So he was a foster kid.” 
Foster kid, foster kid, foster kid.
Every time they said it, they said it in a different tone.  I don’t know how to really take it. 
Children that are in the foster care system have had trauma in their lives in some way.  These children do need some extra attention, compassion, and nurturing.  They are faced with many challenges.  It is not the children’s fault they are in the foster care system. 
There is some kind of stigma about foster kids.  A child that needs a loving home to live in while their parents get their lives straightened out is a child in need.  A child in need.  Period.  Most people have no idea what things these children have been exposed to. 
They did not ask for things to happen to them or to their families.  They did not ask to be taken from their homes.  They did not asked to be taken from the only people they have ever known.  They did not ask to be put with strangers.  And they definitely did not ask to be labeled so dismissively. 
Is this what my future child has to look forward to?  We are in the process of adopting through the foster care system.  Will my future child be labeled like this? 
I hope not.  Because this mom will fight for her children…all of them. 
I have no idea what this post is supposed to do about it, but I feel better just getting out my frustrations.  Thank you for sticking with me as I rant. 
The future mom of a “foster kid”


  1. I'm praying for you and your family as you look towards adoption. I don't understand the stigma that foster children have, but you're right...they are children in need plain and simple. And they haven't asked for one thing that has happened to them. They are the victims of often very terrible circumstances.

    In college I volunteered at a Children's shelter where many of the children ended up in the foster care system. My heart truly went out to these innocent children.

  2. Still praying for your journey. :-)

  3. Well, probably not because you'll ideally adopt. And even if they do get a label, you tell that wonderful child you chose them, and so they're special.

  4. I agree, that was pretty insensitive of them to portray "foster kids" in such a negative light, as if there is a stigma attached.

    When my mom died, although I had my detached father to go live with, I felt pretty alone in the world, like an orphaned child. Luckily, through Karate and other activities, I found good mentors who took me under their wing. I'm sure foster kids feel the same way. These kids need to be embraced and loved.

    Thanks Kim for being so honest. I know, both you and I try not to be negative on our blogs, but sometimes, it's good to stand up for what you believe in. I'm praying for your family's journey on becoming a foster family.

  5. I hate stigmas and what they can do to kids. It's not their fault. Thank you for sharing!

  6. What a wonderful post - I love how honest you are! I totally agree with you Kim. I'm praying for your family as you continue on your journey to add to your family and give some precious child a loving home. :)

  7. You should read the writers blog if you don't already. It's on and by far adds to each show. On that note. Your family is in my prayers. You are a wonderful mother.

  8. Thank you for this post! We are foster parents and adopted our first two placements (they are brothers) this last November. Thankfully they have not been exposed to this type of "prejudice" but I know one day they will. I pray that between now and then we can fill them with as much love and self-confidence as possible to brush that stigma away! On another note, being a foster parent is one of the most difficult and most rewarding things we have ever done. We have been so blessed with the children that have come to our home and though we have had some challenges, I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else. We are still on the vacancy list hoping for a girl this time around. While we wait for our forever little girl to come along, we hope we can be a safe and loving place for a child who needs it. We will pray for your family as you embark on this journey as well!

  9. That is TERRIBLE. There are such great stories out there about fostering...Ugh. Stupid Gray's.

    This lady is great!

  10. I'm way behind on Grey's, so I didn't see this one yet.

    I think that people have to remember that it's not the child's fault. But, your child will have you in his/her corner!

  11. What great honesty and insight. Wishing you great strength and continued love and happiness during your journey!

  12. My church has several foster families and it had really opened my eyes to the needs of these families and children.

  13. I think the show was trying to show that Alex overcame a ton of stuff to be a doctor. Like Bailey said I am not easily impress but now I am impressed. it might have strung a little to hear it in a negative way but I really hope that is not what they meant to do but just that we haven't heard about Alex past at all.....
    Ok I am done I should like I know these people in real life ..

  14. Labels are never good. "Foster Kid" is just another label. We need to do away with that kind of language. She/he was in the foster-care system--Foster is not a descriptor.

  15. Wow, how sad! You are so right that these are children with needs - and they certainly don't need to be labeled or talked down to (or about) because of choices their parents made when they had no choice in the matter! :(



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