On the foster family pages that I'm part of on Facebook, I often see posts from people who are either interested in doing foster care, or are going through the process to start their journey. They want to know about other people's experiences, and about what they can expect as they become a foster family.
Sometimes people will give warnings about doing foster care, saying that it can be a negative impact on biological kids. I've seen stories about bad experiences and advice on really thinking through the decision before becoming foster parents. While I understand wanting to help prospective foster parents realize some of the possible outcomes of doing foster care, I also get a little annoyed with all of the negativity. Did these people stop doing foster care? Have they been traumatized for life? I mean, yes, foster care is not just smiles and hugs. It can be very difficult on everyone, from the foster child, to the foster parents, to the biological child. But the positive experiences greatly outweigh the negative ones in the majority of cases, and if someone is looking into becoming a foster parent, you don't want to scare them off with horror stories.
I feel like media only portrays the negative aspects of foster care, and the bad stories that only make up a small portion of life in a foster family. There are movies about foster parents abusing foster children in the same way they were abused before being removed from their homes. You hear the stories about people becoming foster parents just to get the money (what money?) and not caring about the children. But there are so many positive experiences that go unrecognized. For some reason, the sad stories, or the stories that make people angry, are the stories that people are drawn to. Why aren't people drawn to the stories of hope and love and people becoming a family?
Clearly, foster care has had a really amazing impact on my life. Being the only biological child in a foster family has never negatively affected me. I have learned so much over the years from my experiences with all of my brothers and sisters, and I wholeheartedly believe that other kids would benefit from having foster siblings in their lives. I think that you learn so much from having children from so many different walks of life come into your home. I've lived with kids of different races, abilities, and ages, and I really feel that this has benefited me.
If you're considering becoming a foster parent, and you have young kids at home, don't shy away from foster care just because you've heard of a few bad experiences. There are negative people in the world, and there are always going to be those less-than-thrilling stories. But you need to look at the bigger picture and see how amazing foster care can be. You need to look into it, see some different perspectives, and understand how many lives you can change for the better by being a foster parent. Being part of a foster family can be so rewarding if you open up your home and your heart.
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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