When Foster meets Biological

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I haven’t been in the system as a foster parent for several years, but, it doesn’t seem to stop teenagers in need of a place of respite from coming to my door.    When all of my family was much younger, it was pretty easy with most of the foster kids who came into care.

Of course, we had rules, which, of course, we broke often in an emergency.  Most of the rules I broke, I was blessed by.  But, there were rules we had for ages of foster children for a reason.  Good solid reasons, like teenage boys coming into a situation with teenage girls.  Not a good mix.

One of the primary rules we had, and mostly stuck too, was that our foster children needed to be younger that the permanent or biological kids in the house.  When we started that was easy, our youngest in the house were fifteen and sixteen.  But then our first boys, twins, came at twenty months old, and we had to start to think about who or what ages could come in and melt into the potluck, or God given, family that He was creating.

I have to say here, when our teenagers that were resident in the house were asked about bringing foster kids in, they were very reluctant.  They had the same arguments that I hear every time I talk about fostering.  “We will love them and they will leave!”  But, love, is exactly what all of the children coming into a foster care situation need.  Even if they have layers of PTSD, are angry, unloving and yell at you, they are the ones needing your love.

I can say without a doubt, there were times that children came into our home and were not a good mix.  I always trusted my instincts on that one, and made sure I collaborated with the caseworker to find them the appropriate placement.  Ah, the good old days.  I think it has changed a lot since then, but never give up finding a child the right placement.

We have always had a rule in our house about kids coming in.  It is simply this: “Father God, we will take anyone you send as long as they are not a problem to the ones we have.”  We have stuck to that rule.  In fact we had to put that rule into place just recently when a young man just out of his teens proved to be a serious problem to the family.  It is always heartbreaking when this happens, but when it is obvious and clear, protection of the ones that came first is imperative.

Our last desperate young man was seemingly without family at first glance and needing so much, but unfortunately he mistook kindness for stupidity.  Drugs, alcohol and deceptive behavior is not acceptable in our house.  If he, or anyone else, is honest and open to help, I am there, but denial is a part of addiction and not what I can have in my home with my children.

So, accept and believe, nurture and love, but keep your eyes open and understand what is beyond your ability to change or fix.

IGNITE YOUR PASSION_FIND YOUR PURPOSE

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