Articles

Tammy’s Tips for foster parents

I’m often asked why I want to foster and adopt. I struggle to answer this question, not because I don’t know why but because there are actually many answers.

I can go with the logical. Foster children and children who need adoptive homes, statistically don’t fare well after aging out of the system. Many end up homeless, incarcerated or dependent on government assistance. Helping these children benefits our society, and hopefully reduces the negative outcomes for many of them. These kids don’t just go away. If I don’t help, who will?

I can go with spiritual/moral. I have been blessed and I want to return that blessing. I want to help someone in need. I believe I can be an agent of healing for children who have suffered abuse and neglect through my care, kindness, understanding and guidance. It is the right thing to do.

I can go with strengths. I’m a good mom. I enjoy parenting. I can teach skills and provide a lifelong connection for a child. I can work as a member of a professional team. I am able to support relationships between children and their families of origin.

But out of all these reasons the one that really sums up why I foster and adopt is that it is my calling, my purpose. I feel a strong pull to work with these children and because of that I learn as much as I can to become better equipped to work with youth who have trauma histories. I read, attending trainings and gain knowledge from other people who do this work.

The rewards don’t come from being told I’m a saint because I’m not. I make mistakes and try to learn from them. Some days I get it right and other days I struggle. Each child teaches me something new about myself and enables me to grow into a better parent if I am willing to see the opportunity. It’s hard work.

The real reward comes in seeing these children grow and change- even in small ways, and to know that I had a part in that transformation whether for a short time or a lifetime. I have this plaque on my door to remind me of why I do what I do. This is why I choose to foster and adopt.

 

One Hundred Years From Now

One hundred years from now,

It will not matter how much money you made,

What kind of car you drove,

What sort of house you lived in.

 

One hundred years from now,

The world will be a better place,

Because you made a difference in the life of a child.

 

-Author unknown