After finding the courage to share the incident with my adopted daughter last night, I realized I’m finally at a place in my life where I feel comfortable to share my life as a foster mother. It helps that I’m not working as a foster parent, because there’s so much one can disclose to people outside of your household.
It’s been hard and my sunshine, my blessing is my baby girl Niyah. She was only 6 weeks old when she came and all she knows is me, I’m her Mama and I raised her as I did my older two. The kids that came into my home were older and raised a certain way, bad patterns and behaviors could not be broken no matter what I did.
I always had kids in my life, I’m Auntie Dee, but I didn’t realize that knowing most of these kids since birth mattered. I had a relationship with their parents, unlike the foster kids who were placed in my house and that was essential. It’s the parents fault that their kids are in placement and they should not fault you for stepping up to be a foster parent to their kids. You would be shocked to hear that parents literally hate foster parents, because they feel like they are trying to replace them and that’s far from our purpose. There are parents who actually lie on foster parents in attempt to get their children back faster or placed with a relative. Some parents will take an extra evil step and convince the child to lie on the foster parent as well. Foster Parents have false allegations reported against them at least once in their foster parent career. We are actually briefly educated about the certainty of being falsely accused and how respond to it. There’s no class that can prepare you to be emotionally wounded by a parent and child you volunteered your life to help. It’s traumatizing, no matter what is said. The same parent whose child is in placement for neglect, will turn around and report that the child isn’t being fed.. That’s another experience I overcame, survived and continued to be a foster parent who would go on to adopt.
There were days when I felt I wanted to just stay in bed and pull my hair out. There were days when I slept with a camera outside my bedroom door, in addition to locking it and placing a chair under the door knob, because I was lovingly afraid of some kids. I sugar coated my feelings and fears, never letting my family know how bad it was, because a part of me did not want to give up on the kids.
Sharing last night gave me the courage to voice my experience as a foster mom. I never spoke about it, because I do not want to give the impression that it’s just horrible or that foster kids and their parents are evil, they actually need help. This is my story and not to be viewed as a typical foster parent experience.
I was a special needs foster parent for children with medical and mental health issues and I wasn’t informed about what that all entailed.
I hope that after reading my experience that it won’t deter you from being a foster parent, hopfully you can learn from my experiences. You can demand the full report on a kid prior to accepting him or her in placement. You can demand that your worker, work with you and find in home support to assist you, to lighten your load. You can attend all court proceedings and parenting classes that the bio parent has to attend. You have to be a diligent documentor, write a daily log on each child if you can, especially children with medical and mental health needs.
Please do not be discouraged after hearing what I endured. I’m hoping my story can help not only foster parents, but the biological parents as well.