Cameroon 2009

Cameroon 2009

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Foster Parents

My wife and I have been foster parents for the past four and a half months.  There's a bit of a story behind it, but we took in one of our students when a placement for him turned out terribly, and he was placed in a hotel, as too many are.

This young man has FASD and ADHD.  He was fortunate, previously, to have been placed at birth with a foster family who cared for and loved him until his needs became too great for them to handle.  He's a good kid, just turned 18, and knows right from wrong (taught at home) better than he knows the times tables and reading he learned at school.

That's not a slight on the schools he attended.  Rather, it's a testament to the love he received throughout his life, as troubled as it has been not only with the conditions mentioned, but with a number of other health issues.  His foster parents did so much more than feed and clothe him, and send him to school when the time came.  They held and coddled him, were there through all of his surgeries, prayed with and for him.  He was corrected when he was wrong, and praised when he was right.

It turns out that he has a special talent for music, and he received the violin lessons and other lessons that have turned him into a fine musician.  He has a sense of self worth that exceeds what others with his conditions might have had, from this and his other accomplishments.  Last year, he had the confidence to give a presentation to the student body about FASD, and to make the case that it would not keep him from living a life full of worth.  I was, and am very proud of him.

Foster parents, at least around here, are sometimes lightly regarded.  I've heard others intimate that foster parents are in it for the money (it's not that much), and that the level of care provided might just be less than is true in "real" families.  That is so wrong.  This is not an easy job, and that's because it's not a job.  It's a vocation, a calling I think.  After less than half a year, we're played out.  Our boy is moving out into a group home tomorrow, and we wouldn't have been able to go on doing this much longer.  We love him, yet...

It must be a real challenge to take children in regularly, to love and nurture them, and then to have to let them go.  For the foster parents who may rarely, or even never see these children again - my goodness, I just can't imagine how hard that is.  I so admire your willingness to go through that, all of it.  May God bless you for this loving work that you do.

1 comment:

  1. Raising children is the hardest, most demanding, and yet most important job there is.