A year or two ago I wrote a blog post on what it is like to be a foster parent. Given that this is a technical blog that post has surprised me quite a bit. That one post is responsible for about 25% of the traffic on my blog, currently, and has been read about 45,000 times. Why? Well, I’m guessing that it’s because a lot of foster parents really feel frustrated and used. But they continue to do it anyway because they hope that they are doing some good.
Many foster parents suffer in silence for that reason. I don’t know the exact numbers, and the numbers would probably be meaningless if I did, but I believe there are two distinct groups that do foster care. One group is the hardcore foster group. For them, foster care is a way of life. The second group is, I believe, the larger of the two. It consists of many different types of people. They could be working single parents, infertile couples (I prefer the term INCONCEIVABLE!), and existing families who want to take in a child in need, among others.
I would like to curate the stories of the many different people who have gone through the foster/adopt system, in particular, those of foster and/or adoptive parents who have gone through the state systems, such as Child Protective Services.
I would like, at some point, to write a book about the struggles that foster parents go through as I myself, have gone through several. Oftentimes foster parents go through suffering in relative silence. They don’t want to hurt the children they’re fostering and end up taking an emotional beating as many “normal” people do not see the abnormal things that foster parents go through.
If I do write this book I want it to show people what it’s like being a foster parent. This is not for the purpose of raising foster families up. No, it’s so that foster families would be able to go to their friends, neighbors, and church groups instead of having to rely on the close-knit foster/adopt community. If we truly want to do something that reduces the need to remove children from their parents it must start with the community of unlike-minded individuals, not a support group of like-minded people.
If you have a story like that, good, bad, or ugly (most likely all three), and would like to share, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to be as honest as you like. As long as you aren’t admitting guilt of a felony I promise, with no strings attached, that it will be kept in absolute secrecy if that is your desire.
Thank you for your willingness to share your story.
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