Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
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.
When a child is brought to a foster home, they usually have very little, if anything, with them. They normally have the clothes on their back, and sometimes a few toys or other clothes, but it's never much. One of my foster brothers arrived with a bunch of Elmo toys... as much as I love the furry little red guy, they made me (and the rest of the family) crazy! Each one sang a different song, and they were always on at the same time. Another of my foster siblings, one of my sisters, arrived with a bunch of basketballs. There's no way you can play with a bunch of basketballs at the same time, but boy, did she have quite a collection!
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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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.