One of the best things I’ve ever done with my life is foster parenting. Here are just a few reasons.
1. The Kids Are A Blessing
The number one reason being a foster parent is the best is, of course, the children. In my opinion, if you don’t love children there’s no point in being a foster parent. And if you love children, then by far the best part of being a foster parent has got to be the children. After all, they are why we do this in the first place!
The children make it all the hard parts of fostering worth it. I love seeing the kids grow and learn and thrive. I love simply loving them. Yes, there will be many trying moments, challenging behaviors, and days you want to quit, but even on the most difficult days, I can look at my kids and still know that I am truly blessed.
2. Making A Difference In Someone’s Life
I must admit that I started the foster care journey completely out of selfish reasons. I wanted to have a family and to have children to love. What I didn’t realize was how much the children and the journey would teach me and change me. Now my desire is to continue being involved in the foster care community to help others.
I now have a passion to help the children and other foster families, whether that be through taking in more children on a temporary or permanent basis, providing respite or alternative care when needed, offering emotional support, or donating items to children and families in need. Others have been so generous to me and now I have the opportunity through foster care to be generous to others. People don’t always know the impact they have on others but I guarantee you that somewhere along your foster care journey, you will have made a difference in at least one person’s life.
3. Being Part Of A Community
Ironically, if you do not have a community of support, this can be what makes being a foster parent the most difficult thing. Fortunately, we found many people willing to help and support us on our journey. I am grateful for our family, friends, foster care agency, church, organizations, support groups, and even perfect strangers who have offered us help, sometimes without us even asking. Our community has grown since we became foster parents, and we have been blessed by the people in it. Now we have many opportunities to help others and be a part of their community of support.
4. Being Part of Extended Families
It is not always possible, but sometimes good relationships are formed between the foster parents and biological families. These relationships can create a type of extended family for the children. What a wonderful thing for the children to have even more people in their lives who love them. Children who have bonded with their foster family can benefit from having contact with them after reunification. In most cases, the foster family would welcome continued contact with the child as well. Foster care can create some unique and unexpected families that can be beautiful.
I have not experienced this yet, but have heard many stories of foster parents being reunited with previous foster children years later. I can only imagine all the emotions surrounding such a reunion. How sweet it would be to see the child I love again after such a long time. How relieved I would feel to know that they are happy and well, and to see the kind of man or woman they grew up to be. How overwhelmed I would be to know that they never forgot me and wanted to see me again. I know not every story has a happy ending and not every foster parent will get their happy reunion, but what a special thing when it does happen. I cannot wait for the day one of my previous foster kids come knocking on my door and I have the opportunity to hug them and tell them again just how much I love them.
There are many more reasons being a foster parent is the best, and it’s not because of the money, as some misinformed people may still believe. Being a foster parent gives you the opportunity to parent kids of all different ages and backgrounds, meet many different people, and form lasting relationships along the way. Being a foster parent provides opportunities to teach your biological children and extended families about love, acceptance, selflessness, generosity, service, etc. And don’t forget the obvious fact that being a foster parent provides children in need with a safe and loving home environment. Do we really need any more reasons than that?
Please share in the comments why you feel being a foster parent is the best.