Life as a Writer, Disney World Cast Member, and
Big Sister through Foster Care & Adoption
Welcome back to Taylor Talks!
How would you explain foster care to a young child? I was only three when we started taking in children, and there was no way that my parents were telling a three-year-old about the harsh realities of why children are placed into foster care.
If you're starting out as a foster family with young children already in your life, the best way I've found to explain the situation is to say that you're taking care of children whose parents are sick and can't care for them at the moment. Young kids understand illness; they understand the idea of not feeling well and being unable to complete daily tasks. By telling them that the biological parents are "sick," you're putting a very grown-up situation on a child's level.
I may have written about this in the past, but my parents have always used illness as a way to explain foster care to my siblings and I in our younger years. When it's time for a child to return home to their biological family, you simply say that their parents are feeling better now and miss the child, and that it's time for the child to go home. Sure, kids will be upset not to have a playmate or family member around anymore, but it will make a little more sense to them.
You can't really just say that you're babysitting, because you don't babysit kids for months on end. You certainly can't explain drug addiction or abuse to your children; it's horrible enough that the foster child experienced these things firsthand. There's such a fine line between being able to explain the new adventure that you're taking, without giving too many mature details. Of course, every child is different, and depending on age or maturity level you may be able to explain a little more to your kids before taking in your first foster child. From experience though, I think that going with the story about the parents being sick is the easiest and best way to explain foster care to your children.
If you've explained foster care in another way, I would love to hear about it. I was just asked yesterday if my family is still doing foster care, and while we're not at the moment, we're definitely still discussing if we're going to be continuing our foster care journey in the future. It's always great to learn new things and hear from other perspectives as to what has worked and what hasn't worked in the past for other families.
I'd like to end tonight by mentioning that a family friend unfortunately had to have open heart surgery today. She's doing well, but if everyone could keep her in their thoughts, it would be much appreciated. She's a woman who is always looking out for her family and never for herself, and this must be very difficult for her to be going through.
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.