By Melanie Wilson
I’m writing this just to make people aware, not to call anyone out. There’s just a few things we can all be more aware of. Before I was a foster mom I thought the same things and said the same stuff.
There are several things that people say to me or my family that aren’t helpful. I know most people don’t mean it offensively and they can’t wrap their heads around the process of foster care and adoption.
“I just couldn’t give them back.”
Well, if you don’t it’s called kidnapping. When you go through the process of becoming a foster parent you know what’s coming. It isn’t easy by any means when a child leaves and if it is easy you might need to rethink what you’re doing.
“I would get too attached.”
I am too attached I can promise you that. One baby was the first to call me momma and the other I have seen grow from 6 weeks to 9 months.
“You don’t want him?”
It isn’t that I don’t want the baby. I am the baby’s mom and I have to make tough decisions like every other parent does. My decisions are just a little different.
“Well you get paid for this.”
Yes I do get money each month so that I can meet their needs. I honestly don’t know how anyone makes money off of being a foster parent because I spend more money on these babies than I get each month. This is probably the most offensive statement.
Like I said earlier I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad. I just want to make everyone aware. Maybe instead of saying these things you could use the following statements.
“You must be strong.”
I can tell you I didn’t know I was strong. But I can also tell you my strength comes from God.
“You must have a big heart.” or “you must care a lot.”
I could not do any of this without knowing God asked me to do this and He will help me through all of it.
“It must be difficult.”
It is difficult! Every day is different and at any moment you can get a call saying there is another baby, the baby is leaving in a few days, or there is a new meeting set up you have to be at.
I know that foster care isn’t for everyone. I never knew it was for me. Adoption isn’t for everyone. But caring is for everyone! I get not understanding how someone does it but think about being encouraging or figuring out how you can help that family.
DID YOU KNOW: The recent bill passed and signed in the state of Louisiana extends foster care to the age of 21. It takes an average of 3 -4 years for a child to be adopted so sadly many children age out of the system at 18. Some have amazing homes that keep them and help them but unfortunately that is not always the case and they are thrown out the day they turn 18 when the payments stop. This bill helps 18-21 year old foster children if they become full-time employees, participate in job training programs or education, or if for medical reasons they can’t work or get training/education. This bill will help so many foster young adults and in my opinion is an amazing step.