It’s hard for me to say that I know my foster parents love me. Those words don’t come easy to me. But I know it when I see it. So, here are some ways that I see that my foster parents love me.
They respect my privacy. When I tell them something personal, I know that they won’t blab it around. Sometimes they have to talk with my social worker and teachers about me. But other than that, they don’t go sharing my information with just anyone. That makes it a little easier for me to trust them.
They try to give me choices. I hate it when I have no say in what happens to me because that has happened a lot in my life. When they can, they let me make my own decisions. Even if it’s just for a small thing, like letting me decide when I do my homework, I like that they give me some control over my life.
They treat me like a regular kid. I know they try hard to not make me feel different. They treat me just like their other kids. And they make sure I get to do normal stuff like hang out with my friends. I know from experience that sometimes foster kids don’t get to do regular stuff because there are all these crazy rules. But my foster parents try hard to make sure the rules don’t keep me from doing things that are important to me.
They help me stay in touch with my parents and my brother and sisters. I know it’s a hassle sometimes, but they do make sure that I get chances to see my mom even though it means they have to drive me around a lot. Sometimes my brother and sister can come to my house which I really like a lot.
They are really clear that I will stay here until I can go to a permanent family. They can get mad at me sometimes, but they never threaten me with having to leave when I screw up. Sometimes that’s the very worst thing about foster care… having to move to another foster home because you messed up or something. I’m pretty sure that won’t happen here.
So, like I said, I’m not big on using the L word. But it seems to me that they must love me because of how they take care of me. Not that I am always happy here! But it’s good to know that I matter to them. Maybe I love them too but I’m not ready to say that yet.
by Diane Kindler, MSW, LICSW