Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How Do You Know You're a Foster Parent?

So, how do you know you are a foster parent?
You open your homes and hearts 24 hours a day, every day, to children you haven't even met.
You know your family will grieve each and every time a child enters and leaves your home, but having the child in your lives makes it worth it.
Even though you realize you can't heal the child's pain, you strive to be a part of the healing.
You do not look to yourself for the absolute knowledge in caring for the children, but you look to others for support.
You volunteer all of your love even when sometimes children and their families can't accept it.
You give without expecting anything in return.
You see the strengths in children when others see their weaknesses.
You know others may not understand your choice to foster and may even avoid your family. The lost friendships are missed, but your decision to foster is worth it.
Your inner faith is enhanced as you see children grow and flourish. Even the slightest smile of a child is a victory. Their small steps are major successes.
You understand and aid a child returning home to a healthier family. You do what you can, even if you may not agree with the decision. You understand most of us want to be with our own families.
Material wealth isn't important to you. You chose to live with less to be able to give more. Wealth is in helping children find their way home, whether it be with their birth family, adoption, or being independent. You hear a child with different ears. You hear their cries of help behind their fits of anger, harsh words, or through their silence. Your patience is your strength. You don't take their fighting personally because you know they are struggling to find answers. You know their parents may be behaving in the same way as their children, for some of the same reasons.
You will make many mistakes, but you learn from them and keep on striving to do the best you can.
You give to each child in your care without sacrificing your own children.
You give your complete love and caring even if the child lives with you temporarily.
You are humble to the praises of others for what you are doing because you feel this is what we all should be doing. It is your normal way of life.
You record everything that is going on in your children's lives through Life Books, journals, and files because you know for confused children, you are the one to help them make sense of their lives. They can count on you. You are the "memory keeper."
Your arms never close to a child and your heart holds them forever.



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