I am not a foster parent. I am an adoptive parent and an adoption professional. I am licensed for foster care only for the purposes of adoption. The children that entered my home had already been in foster placements and came to us as a new family member. With that, I cannot really speak to what it is like to be a foster parent, but I can speak about what it is like to be a parent of children that have experienced foster care.
Foster Care Experiences
My children have had more than one set of parents, some of them having several foster parents and I wish I could remember all of them. But every foster parent, each mom and each dad, all the siblings and even the pets, all of them have made an impact on my child.
I am always thankful for the temporary family that came forward to care for my child before they were mine. Sometimes, the children come with pictures in their “life book” or gifts and toys that they were able to keep. Sometimes, we just receive a name on a document. We hold these items dear as they represent our child’s past and a part of the child’s identity. Memories of the past, whether painful or happy, are shaped by the care of foster families.
Impact of a Good Foster Home
I have seen firsthand the long-lasting effects of a good foster home in the children that we adopted. We are fortunate to have maintained open contact with some of the foster parents in our children’s lives and have enjoyed the phone calls, respite, summer visits, holiday greetings, and Facebook connections that we’ve shared. One set of my daughter’s former foster parents are considered grandparents for her children – it is an honor I am happy to share. The additional love and support from this family has helped my daughter to thrive and be a better mom to her children. Foster parents can have that effect on children; it can last a lifetime and carry on to the next generation.
Although I am not a foster parent, I am forever grateful to foster parents and the work they do. They are amazing people to take on loving and nurturing a child that is not their own. I am happy to have been enriched by being a part of their world.
This blog article was contributed by Connie Jorgensen, Adoptive Parent and Child Focused Adoption Recruiter for Nexus-Kindred. Nexus-Kindred is an agency of Nexus Family Healing.
Nexus Family Healing is a national nonprofit mental health organization that restores hope for thousands of children and families who come to us for outpatient/community mental health services, foster care and adoption, and residential treatment. For over 45 years, our network of agencies has used innovative, personalized approaches to heal trauma, break cycles of harm, and reshape futures. We believe every child is worth it — and every family matters. Learn more at nexusfamilyhealing.org.