I am asked all the time, "Why did you become a Foster Parent?" A short and sweet answer to that question for me is "That's my calling in life." Some people become Lawyers, Doctors, Teachers, and Ditch Diggers, I was meant to be a parent. Oh believe me I have had many jobs in my life, some good, some nightmares, but none have ever been as fulfilling to me as becoming a parent. If you have read my profile, you see we have 10 children, 5 of those are Natural born, His, Mine, Ours, and our baby is 21 now, and is getting ready to become a Daddy himself. 5 are Adopted. Whenmy 21 year old was in high school, and all our other children were grown and gone, I got empty nest syndrome. For those of you who don't know what that is, let me explain.....I was going crazy with no kids to have to cook for, pick up behind, and wipe their snotty noses. You may say it, I say it to myself sometimes, "ARE YOU CRAZY?"
Since I was a child, I always wanted to help children, we were poor, didn't even know if we would eat sometimes, but I would have given my last scrap of food to another child if I knew they needed it. So, many years later here I am with no one to wet nurse, could not have any children of my own, my children wouldn't let me keep my Grandchildren forever, no matter how much I begged, and they begged, so what was the solution? It came in the form of trying to help a friend of my sons, who came home one day to find his whole family gone, electricity turned off, no food, nothing, and no idea where his Mom and Step dad had gone. Since he practically lived at my house anyway, he came to the only place he knew he would be taken care of, Momma Marilyn's.
In the process of trying to get him registered in our school district, (though he only lived a few blocks from us, he was in a different district), medicaid, so I could get him checked out, and other things, I found out that in our state the only way to legally get him any help was to become Licensed Foster Parents. We had to take 10 weeks of classes, have background checks, fingerprints and all sorts of what I felt at the time were invasive things, later on though I came to realize, it was all for the safety of the children. Thus began the best and worst 5 years of my life. The best because I have been able to help over 20 children in that time, the worst because I get so close to these wonderful children who ask only to be safe and loved, and when it is time for them to leave to go back to their Biological parent(s), or Adoptive homes, it is hard to let go, but then I see how much I have accomplished with them, and them with me, and I can smile and say bring on the next one. So how about you? Thinking about becoming a Foster Parent? Need to add some meaning to your life, and the life of a child? Want to fill that empty nest? Here what you need to do.....
Contact your local Department of Children's Services, they should be listed in the white pages of your phone book, or the county government section.
For more information on Fostering you can go to your states foster and adoptive parent association, just put the initials for your state , like mine is NCFAPA.ORG, NC for North Carolina, this is a group of Foster and Adoptive parents all over your state who help answer questions and advocate for Foster parents/children at a state and national level. If you become a FP please join your local association if your area has one, if not start one of your own.
That is it for today, I will leave you with this bit of wisdom: "Tell your children you love them everyday, even when they have gotten on your last nerve you don't think you do, tomorrow will be a new day ."
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