Have you ever noticed that Hollywood only references foster care when it involves some horrible situation to provide a backstory on why a character is so screwed up?
You never get the plotlines of the kid that had a horrible family situation and foster care came in and turned it around. There are no tales of case workers working above and beyond to help birth parents get it together to reunify their family. There are no tales of foster families being there to provide love and support for the children while they healed and grew.
Why is that?
I know why. Because these tales are even too rare for Hollywood. I know that sounds pessimistic and kind of dark, but sometimes life is like that. When you get calls from a foster agency telling you about a child that needs placement because a judge has ordered them removed from a different foster home, it makes your skin crawl.
Foster parents are supposed to be the safe place, the warm refuge. Is being a foster parent easy? Absolutely not. Is being a biological or step parent easy? Absolutely not.
If you feel a nudge to be a foster parent, I encourage you to start the process of at least getting more information. Take it step by step until you reach a point in which you know it isn’t for you.
Does reunifying kids with their birth family hurt? Yes, sometimes. Especially when you know they will be better off somewhere else. Sometimes not so much, because let’s face it some kids are gigantic brats. Yes, I said it.
But would you love to know that you were a safe place (even for just a brief moment) in a child’s life? Would it warm your heart to know that your family’s love inspired a child for the rest of their life?
YOU could break the cycle!
I understand foster care is not for everyone. This post is not intended to guilt you or try to make you be involved if your heart isn’t saying it. This post is for the hundreds of people that have emailed me over the years saying they have always wanted to be involved, but couldn’t stand the hurt of returning a child.
Can you stand the hurt of knowing a child is not safe right now, but could be if you could just get over your fear?