Foster : to help grow or develop; to provide the care that a parent usually gives to a child: to become the foster parent of a child.
"Please include a letter of thanks for the foster family, but keep it short"
That is the suggestion from our adoption agency when you send your child a package. Make sure to include a letter of thanks for the foster family... " but keep the letter short", hmm.
Where do I begin to start in my gratitude for a women who is currently acting as mom to my son. How do I express my overwhelming appreciation that she is willing to open her heart to him, knowing that she will lose him. It's a gift for me to know that she is making his well being her priority. He is safe and loved. She is doing all the things that I am unable to... "but keep the letter short."
Little ones get placed into foster homes for a number of reasons. Sometimes, like for our baby, it is because paperwork takes time. He has a family waiting for him but we aren't allowed to go get him without the proper paperwork, signatures and approvals. So he needs a place to stay. For others it's because someone in their lives couldn't or shouldn't be in charge of their care. Maybe the only person responsible for them has passed away, abused them, or neglected them. They come with hurts, baggage, uncertainty, anger, fear, and in need. That's when foster parents step in... "but keep the letter short "
I have some friends who are currently fostering children. I watched as they became certified and trained to take in the little ones needing them. It's a tough job. A job that requires thick skin and long hours. You may end up learning, hearing and seeing things about their past that will leave you speechless. I imagine taking care of a child while their future is being determined is tough. On one hand you would hope and pray for the broken world they come from to be permanently mended so they could return home. On the other, you bond with this child and worry about the possibility of a relapse in the adults they go back to. Or in our case, the foster mom knows very little about us; other than that we will take this child out of the culture and country in which he was born. Travel half way around the world and into a life where everything is completely different. She must worry for him and his adjustment.... " but keep the letter short".
I have always heard so many people say "I would love to help but I could never foster." I have said this on more than one occasion and I get it, I really do. It's a lot. But, I was also never going to adopt from Korea again, either. Then God aligned my will to His. I am eating my words. At this stage of life, we do not feel called to foster, but knowing that someone was willing to do it for my child keeps the idea in the forefront of my mind. I have great respect for people who are fostering. They are a perfect example of being the hands and feet of Jesus.
So, to those of you who are willing to be the ones that cuddle them, hold them, ease their fears, feed them, change them, comfort them, teach them, talk to them, read with them, make them laugh, wipe their rears and their tears, listen to them, prepare them, nurture them, correct them, play with them, bathe them and in general just be there for them when we cannot be...
In short: I say thank you, so very much.