Appreciating Foster Parents

May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month. Foster parents should be celebrated every day of every month. Foster parents are selfless individuals who open their home to children who have gone through at least one traumatic event. They open their hearts to love and help these children heal without knowing how long the child/children will be with them.

Many times when you hear about foster parenting it is because a foster family did something horrific to a foster child. Very rarely do you hear all the wonderful things that foster parents do.

Boys and Girls Homes has been blessed with amazing foster parents. We have foster parents that take medically fragile children into their home. A lot of the time the life expectancy is not known because of health issues the children have. Foster parents take in infants and toddlers who have been so severely abused that they will never be able to live a “normal” life. Foster parents take in infants who are addicted to drugs due to the Mom’s drug use while pregnant. The foster parents will hold the babies as they detox. There is really no way to soothe them as they go through withdrawal, but they do their best to make the child feel comfortable and safe.

Foster parents are asked to take in elementary school children who are not used to having structure - going to bed at a certain time, having meals daily, or having someone help with their homework. These children are survivors and not always willing to let someone parent them. Adults have let these children down so trusting is not an easy thing for them. Foster parents have to break through those walls to help the child learn to be parented. A lot of the time the foster parent does so much work with the child and then the child returns to their family of origin. The foster parent is heart broken, but they receive a call from their worker and it all starts again.

Foster parents are asked to take teenagers. Sometimes these children have been in several different placements, they have parented their younger siblings, and because of trying to survive at home they are behind in school. Again foster parents have to break through the barriers these kids have. They do all they can to help the child catch up in school and to learn to be a teenager.

Now sometimes the kids go home and sometimes the children stay and are adopted. Foster parents then turn into adoptive parents. These people are superheroes. So the next time you see a foster parent tell them you appreciate them. If it was not for foster parents there would be no place for these kids to go and start healing.

Learn more about becoming a foster parent, call 877-211-5322 or visit our foster care page. 

Donna Yalch is the Vice President for Community Based Services at Boys and Girls Homes of NC.

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