Thursday, August 25, 2016

Foster Care is HARD

If you follow me on  Instagram than you may have already seen part of this post, but I figured that there's no better way to start off a Foster Care page on the blog than with the blunt truth; Foster parenting is HARD!

I am so tired. So so tired. So tired of getting up 7+ times a night. So tired of changing 20+ diapers a day. Tired of dealing with 2 year old temper tantrums every time I say no. Of listening to 3 babies crying at the same time. Of stepping on soggy cheerios every 5 seconds. Of constantly responding to phone calls and emails from social workers. So tired of receiving false accusations and zero appreciation.

But you know what else I am tired of?

Children being neglected. Children being abused. Children being stuffed into group homes. Siblings being separated. Children being shuffled from one foster home to another and never feeling like they were loved. Tired of people refusing to foster because of the bad influence foster kids would have on their biological children. Tired of kids aging out of the system without ever finding a forever home. Tired of the stigma that goes with being a foster parent. Tired of hearing that all foster parents must do it for the money. Tired of the assumption that kids who have been in the system can never have a normal life. 

I am so tired. 

Three weeks today since these cuties arrived. We aren't sure how long they're going to be with us but I'm going to push through the exhaustion and continue to love them to the best of my ability for as long as it takes.


I don't want to scare anyone away from fostering, and I'm not saying you have to be an extremely emotionally stable, wise, patient, flawless, rich individual in order to be a good foster parent. In fact, I wish more people realized that they would make great candidates for foster parents! But, you should also know what you are getting into!

 Foster parenting is the hardest job that I have ever, and probably will ever have. Not only is it loud and stressful but it's also both emotionally and physically draining. Take care of a toddler is hard enough on its own. Dealing with a toddlers temper tantrum when a visit with Mom is cancelled at the last minute and he is brought back into your house is frustrating and also heartbreaking. Trying to understand the emotions and confusion that a 2 year is experiencing after a visit with a father that he hasn't seen or heard from in months, is next to impossible. 

Being informed that bio Mom believes you are abusing her children and wants to press charges, after you spend the entire night awake, caring for, rocking, cuddling and changing her sick baby, is definitely not for the weak hearted.  Foster parenting is full of moments of frustration, anger, impatience, hurt, betrayal, and exhaustion....

But then there's the moment when you sit down on the floor to clean up toys and the toddler hops onto your lap, cuddles you and then kisses you on the forehead. The moment that the baby gets back from a visit and his entire face breaks into a toothless smile the second he sees you. The moment you look up from your phone because you hear laughter and find the toddler laying with your 8 month old son, tickling him and blowing on his belly (see below). These are the kind of things that fill your heart with love and make you forget about the multiple tantrums, the yogurt on the floor, the legos scattered across the house and the never ending dirty diapers--if only for a moment!

Foster care is HARD, so so HARD --but it's also worth it. So so worth it!

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