Today, I saw a post on one of the foster family pages of which I am a member, and it got me thinking about the way foster children usually arrive at a new foster home.
Whatever a child is bringing with them to the new home, they never arrive in style. In most cases, foster children arrive at a foster home with their things in a black garbage bag. It's sad to see the kids carrying their belongings like this, because it makes them feel bad about themselves and it looks like they're these poor, pathetic little kids. Meanwhile, they're just in an unfortunate situation, by no fault of their own, and they deserve some respect.
As a child is in foster care, the foster family will give them more clothes, shoes, toys, etc., which means that they leave the foster home with more than they arrived with. Sometimes foster parents will send everything home in a tote bucket, or a new backpack, or an overnight bag... you don't want to just send the kids away again with that same old black garbage bag. And of course, if the foster family buys a new bag for the child, it's out of pocket, because that kind of thing isn't covered on the clothing voucher from D.S.S. So there's always this constant juggling act between wanting to give the foster child everything, and knowing that you don't want to spend a fortune because you have no idea what will happen to the stuff once the child leaves your home. In our house, my parents have always given my foster siblings exactly what I've been given; we all get new school clothes at the same time, we all get new pajamas on Christmas Eve, and we all get new sandals for Easter. There's never been a difference between me and my siblings, no matter how long they're with us for, but I know that some other foster parents do struggle with money and how much they can spend on items that will be going back to the biological family.
You always have to look out for your family and for the foster child you're providing for, and sometimes there are financial struggles. But there are always going to be struggles, whether they be financial, emotional, or physical (like when one of my twin sisters broke her leg when she was a year old... that was fun). Being a foster parent (or foster sibling) means that you're willing to take all of the ups with all of the downs, and do the best for all of your children, no matter whether they're biological, foster, or the kid down the street who thinks you have better snacks and is somehow always at your house. Enjoy the ride!
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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