The truth is that fostering and adoption comes with a great deal of joy and laughter, but mixed all in those emotions are feelings of heartbreak, anger, guilt, and fear. It’s incredibly hard to explain the roller coaster of emotions. You have no way of knowing whether the children will live with you for a few months or forever and things can take drastic turns in a matter of 24 hours. One of the hardest things about being a foster parent is knowing you love them with every ounce of your body, but there’s a chance you may never see them again. The truth is the system is far from perfect.
I was told once that the state isn’t looking for a home that is as good as the home I’m giving them, they are looking for a home that is good enough. That was insanity to me because I knew that the home they wanted to send them back to wasn’t “good enough.” I felt helpless to protect the children that God had entrusted to me.
It’s a strange feeling to want two outcomes. You know the kids will have a better life if they are with you, but at what cost? I was once told, there are rarely winners in foster care because someone always ends up hurt.
I felt sorry for their birth parents. I hated that in their mind I was their competition when I really just wanted them to feel like someone cared. It didn’t matter how many times I told them I wasn’t trying to take their kids away from them, they never believed me. In fact, around the time I became pregnant with our first biological child (7 months after the boys came to live with us), their birth mom told me she thought I had fertility issues and she insinuated that I only wanted her kids for that reason. I made it very clear to her that if she didn’t want to do her part to get better, than I was certainly ready to step into her role, not because I wanted children, but because they needed a mom.
The truth is fostering is hard and I don’t say all of this to talk anyone out of it. When there are kids sleeping in offices due to a shortage of foster homes, people have to step up. The caliber of foster care sometimes isn’t much better than some of the homes the kids come from. I’m impressed that some of the local churches are beginning to see a need and step up whether it’s holding foster drives or starting support groups for foster parents.
The truth is the kids in custody deserve way better than what they are going through, and I hope that no matter how hard it is, people step up and our community doesn’t let them down.