Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
Today is a very special day in my family… a birthday! In honor of this special day, I thought I would talk a little about birthdays for foster children, and the experiences that we’ve had in our house.
Most people think of their birthdays as a great time for celebration. As you get older, you start to have smaller get-togethers with a few close friends, a change from the big birthday parties many people have as children. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know that some people don’t really like celebrating their birthdays at all, and there are some children who either can’t, or choose not to, have birthday parties. But for the most part, the vast majority of the world at least knows when their birthday is and what it means, and most people have at least one person in their lives who will acknowledge that special day. That isn’t the case for some of the children that will come into a foster home. I can think of at least a time or two when a child that lived with us didn’t really know what a birthday was, which was really sad to me.
I think that all children should feel special on their birthdays, which is why our family has always celebrated each child with special birthday traditions. Growing up, the birthday child in our house always got to pick a special meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (my favorite birthday breakfast would definitely be chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream with M&Ms on top!), and the birthday child is awakened to everyone singing to them in the morning. Even as my brother and I are getting older and don’t really get many presents anymore, we always walk out to gifts in the living room. So maybe we’re too old for toys now; in a family as big as ours, everyone always likes to make a birthday card or pick up a little something special at the store. The gifts can be silly, like a whistle and an alien slingshot for a teenage boy, but the fact that the little kids get to pick out their own special presents is fun in itself.
Remember that not everyone gets to feel like a prince or princess on their birthday. Acknowledge when you’re fortunate enough to have family and friends who make you feel special, and try to do a little something to make others feel special, not just on their birthdays, but everyday.
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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.