My husband and I were in our early twenties when we decided to become foster parents, and it was not until we started attending the training meetings that we learned that there is a horrible stigma placed upon the position. I didn’t understand it at all.
Every aspiring foster parent that I met as well as every person that had been doing the job for years upon years was absolutely wonderful. The majority of them were completely giving and generous people who knew a hell of a lot about raising children. I am grateful to this day for what I learned about parenting from foster volunteers, and from my own foster kids.
When I learned that there was a belief held by the general public that people merely foster for the money, I was absolutely floored. We barely received enough money from the state to feed the children in our care, let alone all of the other expenses that come along with kids.
So, why the myth? After all of these years, I have determined that the general public has decided to base their opinion of foster parenting on the few horrific incidents that have landed themselves in the drama generator of the press, and that opinion comes in as a fucking brilliant excuse for most people not to foster kids.
In reality, the majority of unfortunate situations that arise for children in the foster system can either be attributed to a lack of individual attention because of a completely overwhelmed system, or the other children that each kid is exposed to as a part of that system. Bottom line: if there were more good people out there willing to take in kids, the system would run a hell of a lot better.
My husband and I had planned to have one biological child of our own and then adopt, before we fell into the whirlwind that gifted us with three beautiful, wonderful, kids. I still have to avoid looking at adoption periodicals because they hurt my heart so deeply.
I cannot, for the life of me, understand why people are unwilling to take in these absolutely amazing children who are in desperate need of homes and families. I cannot understand why more people do not adopt, and why they will alternatively spend thousands and thousands of dollars on medical procedures to create life when there are thousands of lives already out there in need of them.
I can understand a couple wanting to go through the experience of being pregnant, and bearing a child, but I absolutely cannot understand why people are so unwilling to take parentless children into their homes.
Then, when I see the sort of effort that is being put into arbitrarily pointless missions and causes in our country while all of these children are just waiting and praying for decent homes and families, it makes me want to scream, and then cry, and then go to the bank to take out a frigging loan so that I can afford to raise all of the kids that no one seems to have any consideration for.
In this world where everyone seems to have a passionate attachment to a cause, or a vehement opinion on an issue why don’t any of us seem to give a crap about kids? It is still beyond my conception how anyone thinks that his or her time is better spent on…well on almost anything else.
Everyone learns to base their opinions on the information that comes most intimately through friends and family. When you speak to your loved ones, I ask you to speak kindly of adoption. Even with the simple acknowledgement of the fact that there are loving children out there in need of families, every person can make a difference in their situation. Everyone can help kids, if we are willing to believe in how much they truly matter.