It’s me, the lady across the street with one husband, two teenagers, five year old twins and Gus, the beagle, who can be a noisy as well as a nosy neighbor. (Sorry about your trash can last week.) You’re still new to the neighborhood and it must be hard to get to know your new turf in this time of COVID – 19. We’ve chatted a few times and you know that the twins, Jack and Maria, are our foster children. You had some questions about foster parenting and we agreed to talk over a cup of coffee soon. Well, the pandemic has put that plan on hold for a while. So, I thought I’d drop you a note.
You asked me why we became foster parents. All of this sheltering in place has given me time to think about my answer to that question. With all that’s going on … home schooling the kids, working from home and doing all the other things necessary to keep things at least a little normal … I don’t have a lot of time for deep thought. But I am a good multi-tasker, and yesterday while sorting the (piles of) laundry I came up with two reasons I’d like to share with you.
Foster parenting is an adventure. I guess I’m someone who likes to keep things lively. I can say honestly that I have never had a boring day as a foster parent. The kids are full of surprises, some good and some difficult. With the twins who have been with us for four months now I’ve been surprised by how they have begun to open up to the rest of us. At first they were pretty withdrawn but now they are right in the mix…..making their likes and dislikes very clear and holding their own with the rest of the family. I’ve also been surprised by how much they worry about their mom and their older sister who lives with her. They are so little but their worries are very big. I’ve learned that especially now they need our full support in keeping connected to their family. Their mom loves them even though she isn’t able to care for them right now. Jack and Maria feel so much better when they get a chance to speak with her.
Foster parenting does make a difference. It’s pretty clear that this is one crazy world. We are all trying to make it through this strange time as best we can. I feel that by sharing our family with our foster children we are doing something positive in a world that feels pretty negative much of the time. I know that it’s been good for Jack and Maria to be with us during the pandemic. They’ve been with us in a tough time and have, I think, seen how families can care for each other even when things are difficult. I like to think that this experience will make a difference for them. I know it has made I difference for me in my little corner of the world.
Did you know that May is National Foster Care Month? More than ever new foster homes are needed. I wonder if you’ve considered fostering? When I told you about our gang you said now that your boys are on their own you miss the wonderful energy kids bring to a home. There are so many kids out there with energy…and needs and dreams. Let’s keep our coffee date, even if we share virtual coffee through Zoom. I’d love to answer more of your questions about foster care. There is so much to learn and love about it. Until then, stay safe and well and I’ll do my best to keep Gus away from your trash cans! You can also learn more about becoming a foster parent here.
by Diane Kindler