My biological daughter has been struggling with the placement of two foster children in our home. So do I regret taking in these foster kids? No. And here’s why.
My bio daughter Sassy is 13. Thirteen is a tough age. It’s the time in our life that we realize life isn’t all sunshine and smiles as we had believed thanks to watching too much My Little Ponies and our parents diligent efforts to shield us from the bad things lurking out there. But boogie men really do exist. We call them rapists, drug dealers, murderers, and thieves. Other “boogie men” are addiction and mental illness. Some boogie men hurt children and some of those hurt children end up in foster care. That’s the hard facts of life.
Sassy was already learning that the world can be cruel. She was learning about anorexia, drunk driving, bullying, and war.
Learning that some parents abuse and neglect their children has been tough. But it has provided a way for my husband and me to teach Sassy how to respond to life’s ugly side. We stand up to bad things and fight for what’s right. We realize that our efforts may seem like a drop in the bucket, but we will make sure it’s the right bucket. And it makes a difference. Sassy can see the impact we are having on Joyful’s and Watchful’s lives.
We’ve sought therapy for Sassy to help guide her through this dark side of the human experience. She has been exploring how she wants to respond to nastiness, and we’ve been right by her side, sharing our values with her. Our conversations with her have pulled us closer together than ever. As we coach her in how to be a sister to a hurt child, we are amazed by her personal growth. Her empathy and patience have dramatically increased. It’s amazing to watch your child’s blossoming passion for doing what’s right.
So am I sad that Sassy is struggling? Yes, like any parent, I wish I had a magic wand to make all the boogie men disappear. But reality confronts us all as we turn from children into adults. As parents, our job is to help our kids become the best possible people they can be.
And foster care is helping my daughter become an adult that I truly admire.