I could never be a foster parent. It would be too hard. I would get too attached. I would never be able to say goodbye.
But what if instead of goodbye, it could be forever or see you later? What if you did get attached and were able to provide safety and security to a child who may not have ever experienced such a thing? What if the challenges and difficulties you faced as a foster parent brought meaning and purpose to your life that you never knew existed? What if you could be a foster parent?
Kids are never ready to cope with the trauma that brought them into care. They are never ready to be removed from the only family they have ever known despite how bad things might have been. They are never ready to be separated from their siblings or their extended family or their friends. They are never ready to move from home to home. They are never ready to have to adjust to new rules and routines. They are never ready to be the “new kid” or the “foster kid” over and over again at school.
When kids are placed into foster care however, they do not have the luxury of being “ready.” They are not given a choice. They do not have time to prepare.
But what if the transition didn’t have to be so hard? What if there were more local families willing to foster so that kids could at least stay in an area that is familiar to them? What if there were more families willing to foster older kids or sibling groups?
The statistics for the number of kids in foster care is alarmingly high. But what is more important than the actual number, is the fact that there are more foster kids than there are willing foster parents or resources to care for them. According to The Attic Foster Care Network (the atticfn.org), as of March 2019, there were 1,034 kids in foster care in our region. Of that 1,034, 60% were placed in homes outside of region 9.
But what if things could be different? What if you could play a part in making that happen? Even the most prepared parents are never ready at first, but what if you could be willing to try? What if there is a little boy or little girl or a sibling group out there waiting for your love? What if becoming a foster parent is something you are meant to do?
May is national foster care awareness month. For more information on foster care, please visit www.dfps.state.tx.us or visit the atticfn.org for local information.