Life as a Writer, Disney World Cast Member, and
Big Sister through Foster Care & Adoption
Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
The other day, my mom told me about something that she had read on a Facebook page, and it struck a chord with me. I wanted to discuss it here, but I didn't quite have enough time to fully write about the topic. I thought I would write about it tonight since I haven't been able to forget about it.
I've mentioned before that my brother has O.D.D. (Oppositional Defiance Disorder). Like so many other things, there is a Facebook group for parents of children with O.D.D., and my mom is part of that group. It's basically just a resource for parents to compare stories, provide support, and offer help as different situations arise with their children.
Well my mom told me about a father who was on this site who happened to be a foster father. His foster child had just been diagnosed with having O.D.D. and the father wasn't sure how to proceed. He was actually wondering what to do because before the diagnosis he had started to pursue adoption. Now, he wasn't sure if he should continue to pursue the adoption, knowing what could be in store for their futures.
It was really a shame to hear from my mom that a lot of people were telling this father what a problem O.D.D. was and almost talking him out of the adoption. I spoke with my mom about it and we remembered what it was like when my brother was very young, and I was able to get my mom's opinion on the subject. She said that even though my parents knew at an extremely young age that there was something different about my brother, they knew that he was brought into our lives for a reason. My brother wasn't diagnosed with O.D.D. until he was in fourth or fifth grade, I can't remember the exact time, but he was adopted in kindergarten. We had no idea what was, for lack of a better term, "wrong," but we never considered not going through with the adoption.
Just because a child may not seem "perfect" doesn't mean that you can just be rid of them. First of all, no child is perfect, whether you give birth to them, foster them, adopt them, or meet them in a chance encounter at the grocery store. If you plan on being a parent in any respect, you better make sure you know what you're getting yourself into! But that being said, if you find out that your child has any kind of disability, you can't just return them. They're not a purchase you made at the department store. If you gave birth to a child with a disability, you couldn't just decide that you don't want to keep them. So why should it be any different if you're fostering or adopting a child?
Parenting a child is a lifelong commitment, no matter how you came into each others' lives. There are always going to be ups and downs, and you should certainly be prepared to make informed decisions as different situations arise, but you need to be able to love your child no matter what problems you face throughout their life. Knowing that a child has a disability means that you're adopting that disability when you adopt the child, but you never know what that child's disability can teach you. It can enrich your life in ways you could never imagine. I've learned so much from my brother, and while it can be extremely difficult to keep my cool with him sometimes, I wouldn't ever change him for anything. I can only hope that this father from the Facebook group is able to see past the disability and put his love for his child above everything else and go through with that adoption. That child is going to need a large support system throughout life, and that starts with the parents.
Thank you so much for your continued support! I look forward to sharing more stories about my experience with foster care, and hopefully hearing from readers who have questions or similar stories to share. I'm always willing to answer questions and hear about other experiences! Please don't forget to like and share my Facebook author page as well!
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My family has been doing foster care since I was three years old. I'm the only biological child in my family, though I now have five permanent siblings. Having nineteen siblings over the course of my lifetime has been an incredible experience, and I'm hoping that by sharing some of the ups and downs of being the only bio kid in a foster family, other foster families or people looking into doing foster care will be able to learn a bit of what life can be like. I also like to share what life is like on my journey to becoming a published author, as well as where my schooling and career choice are taking me.