I thought that I would have a little fun tonight and try to come up with the top ten things that I love about foster care! Let's see what I can come up with...
9. Being part of a foster family means that you get to know some pretty amazing people over the years. From caseworkers, to therapists, to the drivers who take the kids on visits, we have been very fortunate to work with some wonderful people who have helped us on our foster care journey. These people make such a huge impact on your life, and you wouldn't get to know any of them if you weren't doing foster care.
8. Foster care provides some amazing stories to tell at school, and yes, this is completely different than giving me good writing material. Throughout my lifetime, I would love going into school with stories of what my newest foster sibling was like, or what news we had received from a caseworker. The most incredible days were the days after we found out about (and took in) a new placement; I loved running into school to tell my teacher and best friends that I had a new sibling. No one else ever had a story quite like mine. Oh, and let's not forget what an awesome built-in project idea foster care was for me! Do a research project on abuse? Got it covered. Give an informational speech about something? I'll teach about foster care! I was always ready for anything.
7. Doing foster care means that I have learned a lot over the years about the harsh realities of life. I've been exposed to babies who were born addicted to drugs, and I've seen how pills and alcohol can get in the way of parenting. I've learned about abuse and neglect, and I know that everyone isn't given the opportunity to be raised by parents as wonderful as mine. I feel so lucky to have learned about what foster kids go through, because it has pushed my life in a certain direction.
6. When you are part of a foster family, you become part of a community unlike any other. Whether you're connecting at a foster family picnic, or finding a support group for foster parents online, being part of a foster family means that you understand exactly what other foster families are going through. Though cases may differ in many ways, the overall experience of being in a foster family is something that bonds you to other foster families, because you know that you're doing something wonderful and being given the gift of meeting some wonderful children.
5. Foster care has given me the chance to work with children with many different special needs. Three of my siblings have special needs that we deal with on a daily basis. The twins were born so prematurely that we learned about the many obstacles that preemies face after they came to live with us. Having experience with so many disabilities helped to push me toward wanting a degree in special education.
4. We've also taken in children from many different backgrounds. From different ethnic backgrounds and religions, to having siblings of every possible skin tone, my family has always been a true example of the American melting pot. I learned such tolerance from a very young age that I never think about what people look like or where they come from. We're all just people.
3. By becoming a foster family, you're helping kids in need. That's the whole reason you start doing foster care, isn't it? You want to help children whose parents can't take care of them for whatever reason. You want to take in children who need a roof over their heads, food in their mouths, and people to love them. Whether you're doing respite care, short-term care, or long-term care, you're helping children who need someone to be in their corner.
2. Foster care gives you family members that you never would have had otherwise. For me, that means having nineteen siblings whom I might never had met if they hadn't become part of my family. No matter how long they stayed with us, I consider each of my foster siblings to be my siblings for life. I may not see most of them anymore, and I may not have any contact with them, but I know that the time they stayed with us bonded us for a lifetime.
And the number one thing I love about foster care?
1. It may sound a little repetitive, but doing foster care provided me with with a forever family that I would have otherwise never had! Foster care led to the adoptions of my five amazing siblings. I wouldn't have any of my siblings without the foster care system, and my life would have been very different if my five brothers and sisters had never entered my life. I love the foster care system so much for giving me my family!
What do you love about foster care? Tell me in the comments!
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