As I sit here thinking this morning, I cannot help but bring focus on the huge need for foster parents today. There are so many children in need of solid, stable homes and so few prepared to stand in this gap. It takes a lot of dedication, sacrifice and strength to place yourself in a situation that will be trying. If you know that it will be difficult going into it, healthy fear sets in. I use the word healthy before fear because it is accurate. There is not service to be found in walking into a foster care situation without the ability to handle it.
An honest look at fostering, from someone who has done it, will show that their are daily struggles that must be dealt with. If a person considering bringing the element of foster care into their lives doesn’t fear these changes even a little bit- they probably don’t have an accurate idea of what foster care entails. Foster care requires a complete change in the home. There is little that make that not occur. Often, the children that are entering your family struggle in the very basics. Their core is often not developed and they have not had anyone invest in them. Emotionally, they are in great need. This can drain a family quickly.
Foster children also tend to struggle in school. They have often had years of instability. This has caused them to inwardly close-off. They cannot trust and thus find school situations difficult because of the many changes that occur annually. The only cure for this particular issue is time. If a foster child is brought into a home and learns that there is another part of relationships and life that they have not experienced, they will begin to settle into this new role and ca be offered a second chance. I love second chances. I think that it is in those chances, lives are formed (or reformed.) That makes my heart happy.
If you are considering being a foster parent- the need is great. Now is definitely the time. Make sure that you research other people’s experiences so that you know what to expect. By doing that, you are offering yourself a leg up. That leg up can mean the difference between a successful fostering experience and a negative one. There are many children who need homes. They have been removed from hard situations and deserve a home filled with love and laughter.