I am privileged to be a temporary foster mom and I appreciate that a lot of people feel the calling, take classes and eagerly await a placement. That is not at all our story.
We had talked about fostering, I had a heart to do it before we had our own children. But, when we had our own I was so overwhelmed by the intensity of parenting I selfishly did not want to let my children be exposed to the disfunction caused by a child who had been through trauma, abuse and/or neglect. We were raising our kids in a happy perfect bubble where no one ever goes hungry, gets beat or wonders if they are loved or wanted. You see, our children are privileged beyond anything they could ever comprehend.
But, then an emergency gave us the opportunity to foster. I have had so many people tell me what we are doing is so kind and so amazing. The thing is, it doesn’t feel kind or amazing. It is just what needed to happen and we are blessed to be called to do it.
I love it. It is difficult at moments, but it is a privilege, and amazing, and good for our kids.
I was told by a friend there would be crying. I assumed from the difficultly of the work of managing so many kids. But, my husband has been doing lots more cooking, and laundry (so many towels) and we enlist the kids to help too. It just requires more logistical organizing, which we are adjusting to. But, I did cry for about an hour one night. It wasn’t because it was too hard. It was because the child whose bounced around foster care shared his trauma.
I played it cool and listened, but I must admit when I was quiet and alone my heart absolutely was broken for him. I love every kid in this house so much and I love my dear friend so much. I just want to make this all as easy as possible for them. For example, I spent over an hour at a school meeting with teachers and staff about getting more help for a child I love and we only have temporarily. But, I would never consider not doing it because it needs to be done and is the right thing to do. I hope that we can bless these kids in our care and change the course of their lives for the better. There are lots of people who sign up and do much more foster care with more difficult children everyday with no encouragement.
We are lucky to have so many people reaching out to us and wanting to help. We are enjoying it and while it is more difficult, it is doable and still enjoyable. I know there are grown ups that stepped up for me as a kid and I hope we can now pass that along and do something positive for another child. It is a great privilege and we love being able to be a big family, even if just for a short season. It has definitely made us more open minded about fostering the traditional way, sooner than later.
Fostering can make a huge difference in a child’s life with how they develop both mentally, physically and emotionally. If you would like to learn more about how you can open your home and foster a child please contact Hui Ho’omalu Partners in Development Foundation at 268-5122.