What does it mean to care? Is fostering a child a wise decision? Some people are blessed with a good heart that they embrace other people in their lives, but what comes into their mind when opting to foster a child? We may think it is simple. However, for some, they feel more than just care. They feel cursed for having to feel the pain and suffering of children who have to go through not having a family. Yes, some people do more than just care. They have the heart that bleeds for others, and they cope with this feeling by opting to help, and deciding to foster a child is one of the ways.
One of the reasons that foster homes are not always healthy environments for their wards might be that foster parents have a financial as well as an altruistic motivation. — Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD
Things To Remember Before Opting To Foster Care:
- Fostering a child makes someone feel great. It is for a fact that helping is something we need to do to satisfy that sense of fulfillment inside us. There is a particular feeling of satisfaction when we know we can do good to others, and opting to foster care is something more than just giving temporary help. It is something that may create a difference in a child’s life.
Imagine if you didn’t have the emotional constitution to live with knowing that the little one you were attempting to adopt could, at any moment, be given back to his family of origin? And not feeling happy about that and feeling guilt over that. This was the downside, at least to some adoptive families. — Meredith Resnick L.C.S.W.
- Opting to foster care has a risk. It exposes you to the feeling of being emotionally attached to a person you are not sure to have permanently. Although there is a process for this where you would be eligible for full custody of a child, it doesn’t ascertain anything. It would still make you undergo through a series of emotional and mental threat such as depression.
- It is challenging to take care of a child whom you haven’t nurtured. He may not be able to follow through your lifestyle. His values may not be by your standards, and you must be ready for this. Most of us think that children are all adorable, but we may not anticipate that they could already be dealing with personal issues which are hard to address. We must prepare to be stronger and not to quit just because it didn’t turn out to be a journey to wonderland.
Complex trauma often results in chronic anxiety—internalized as depression, externalized as defiance, or both. Children may, consequently, withdraw or explode as they navigate difficult emotional territory, and they need safe relationships where they can test the bounds of trust as they navigate a path forward through grief, anger, and healing. — Blake Griffin Edwards LMFT
- Some people opt to foster care because they need it emotionally. If you have the same reasons, you must understand that the desire to fulfill the child’s emotional needs outweighs yours. Remember that the goal of providing a foster home is to make a child feel loved and that he has a family who wants to see him happy. It is not about what he can do for you but what you can provide him in all aspects – physical, emotional, and mental.
Foster care may be simple, but it goes beyond the provision of shelter, food, and other physical needs. It requires you to have the heart to desire nothing but the betterment of the child. Remember that the moment he would have with you is something that will be a part of him forever. It is way beyond that brief time he might spend with you as it might help him form his perspective. He might live a life based on what he felt when he was with you.