Three Hundred Fifty One: Foster

“Love, Protect, Heal, Strengthen, Teach, Comfort, Uplift, Encourage, Nourish, Guide, Inspire, Cherish, FOSTER.”  – Unknown 

Thursday, December 18th

Tonight there was an end-of-quarter night at my daughter’s school to celebrate the projects the kids have been working on. Four classrooms full of parents converged in a meeting area to watch our kids sing and sign a song about trees. I was seated next to an acquaintance I know from my work on the PTSA, and it felt so good to listen to her talk so sweetly about her busy life with two new foster children. She is so matter-of-fact, like the kids were always there. What a special type of person it takes to foster the healthy development of another, especially a child who has had separation, pain, and abandonment at an early age.

Every time I meet a foster or adoptive parent, I want to tell them my family story. The story of how my mother was fostered for years by a couple that took in not only her, but her three other siblings. It was only recently that I learned that my mother stood in a courtroom at age 12 talking to the judge about the very real possibility of being split up from her siblings – really the only stable force in her chaotic childhood. Her foster parents could be strict, but they provided normalcy and love and structure. My Mom grew up to appreciate those traits and searched out the same for me when she ended up a single parent. The act of love and bravery my grandparents made so many years ago is felt now as their children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren lead normal lives.

Do you know someone who has been fostered or adopted? How has that affected him/her?


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