Foster care is hard. Foster families are amazing people who put the needs of others above their own. We want to celebrate with families who gave it everything they could and helped a family succeed. We continue to have stories from foster families who have had great experiences with reunification and building a bridge with bio families. Below is one that we want to share and celebrate.
“I realize the negatives of the foster care system are what grab the headlines, but there’s beauty in it, too. I have felt it wrap around my entire family like a big, healing quilt.
The goal of foster care is reunification. The aim is to reunite families after they’ve been made safe. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does it’s because those parents are supported and helped along the path toward wellness and safety. One thing that can be helpful during this journey is having the foster parent involved in that support system.
I’ll be honest, I’ve not always been the most willing participant in that support system. It’s difficult to feel charitable toward someone who has hurt or neglected a child you’ve grown to love. It goes against human nature to embrace the parent who failed their child. To be honest, sometimes I had to be prodded a bit to offer that hand across the divide.
Yesterday I watched my children run to greet and embrace the little boy we had for 2 years who was reunified last September. I watched him fold right back into my big, raucous family and come running to jump into my arms for a hug. Oh, the joy of that moment!
But even bigger than that joy, is the swell of pride I felt over the relationship that’s been carefully cultivated between his young mother and myself. By her own admission I’ve become a mother figure for her, also. She texts as much or more than my eldest daughter does. She visits often and refers to my children as her son’s brother and sisters. She shares her struggles and triumphs as a single mother. She asks my opinion on things of importance. She has asked to cook a meal here for Mother’s Day. She’s become as precious to me as one of my own children. Recently, she asked if I’d be willing to raise her son if something happened to her and then stated her intent to have a will drawn up expressing her wishes. Her friendship blesses me.
This is foster care done right and I’m so proud we fought through the hard stuff to get here. While this isn’t the kind of story that will make headlines, it is still an important one to share. The beauty and joy that rises from ashes is real. A family can be reunified and strengthened and even grown. I have been so honored to witness this.”
Whenever possible, this is the goal. Please send in your success stories if you would be willing for us to share them. Send to: email@example.com