One Foster Family’s Experience with a Teen

While we (the foster care community) need to continue to educate and enlighten those around us about the realities and needs of those affected by foster care, we also need to highlight the fact that in South Carolina, our foster families SHOW UP for the children and youth we all serve.  Read this story from one foster family who has fostered for over ten years and has always fostered “littles” until recently.

My heart is tender this morning. We stepped out of our comfort zone and accepted placement of a teen last month. The call came in the middle of the night. I couldn’t/wouldn’t say no. It was supposed to be an overnight stay. She left this morning, just shy of a month with us, and it stings.

Was it difficult at times? Oh, absolutely. We live in a madhouse run by lots of tiny, loud, out of control people. Heck, some days I even feel like running away. She stuck it out. We butted heads a time or two. She saw that I wasn’t the one she needed to try that with, and I treated her no differently than my own, and she was respectful and even affectionate after that.

Oh, but there were great times, too. There was so much laughter. She was loud and funny and brought even more life into this house. She harassed “Pops” endlessly, and jumped in the car to accompany him everywhere he went. She ganged up with my teens and shared secrets until late in the night. She accompanied my adult daughter and me on shopping trips and took us to new places, like hair stores, where we searched for beads and potions. She gave my curly kids beautiful hairstyles and an opportunity to spend time with someone from their culture. I am so thankful for that.

She ignored the fact that I’m a non-hugger and forced me to accept her hugs multiple times a day. This made my husband, the super hugger, so happy. All the littles fell in love with her and fought for her attention. She took over our cranky little rat dog, Ramona, and carried her everywhere and slept with her at night. She stretched our hearts.

So, once again, I find myself mourning a loss. But, at the same time, I am so thankful for her time with us. We accepted our first teen placement. We will do it again.

If you are a foster parent reading this, please know that the fact that you advocate tirelessly for these children does not go unnoticed. You ARE appreciated and even during the times you may feel sad, defeated, or even like quitting, remember that you have impacted a life for a lifetime. We thank you and appreciate you.

Please share encouraging stories of your experiences with foster care. Yours may be just the encouragement new foster parents need. Send via email to 
We would love to hear from you! 

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