It’s giving a child a future, helping them fulfill their potential and raising them like your own. It’s the feeling of knowing that you have contributed to making a difference someone. That is through providing a warm, safe, happy home for a child. It’s nourishing a child that may arrive undernourished. It’s caring for children who might have been abused or neglected or someone who didn’t enter the world on good terms. It’s giving the child an opportunity to live life to their fullest.
sometimes it’s hard; especially on the mother, her role is a constant 24/7 grind. They have to put up with sharing their things, home and family and lives with a stranger. Clearing up mess and toys after the children and waking up to the occasional cries in the middle of the night.
But there is also a massive plus to fostering; the mother is always there to take care of her children when sick, hurt or whenever the cry for need is there. Most importantly you get to cherish children who have gone through trauma. they get to teach and instill love in the child and watching them grow and learn each day.
Probably the most difficult part of fostering is letting go of a child when they have become family, part of your life. It could also be the frequent changing of social workers or waiting for court dates etc. you don’t want them to leave, although they can finally go back to their own family. It’s always tough to say “goodbye” to someone you have watched develop and change and love.
Fostering isn’t always fun. When the foster child first comes to you they are very damaged, stressed and temperamental. They wake up at night and are sometimes violent. Especially with babies, their only way of communicating is to scream and cry, which is very hard to overcome.
It is sometimes hard but in the grand scheme of things, a choice made as a family in order to save a child’s life. The truth is no one will understand, its merely impossible to know what its like. You will always get others trying to compare and understand but the truth is, it’s merely impossible to know what it’s like, what it feels like unless you are a foster carer. Sometimes even other foster carers do not understand, as although they have also been through similar struggles, they have not dealt with this individual child. They have not grown to love them as you do. They haven’t picked them up from the lows and watched them at their highs.
You can catch our previous post here, it covers great research by Bill Gates Foundation on Youth crimes.