Renee M., Foster Parent
Renee M., Foster Parent
Meet Renee, who has been a foster parent with KDC’s Intensive Foster Care program for ten years. We asked Renee to tell us her experience as a foster parent.
I was inspired to become a foster parent because I love children. I hoped to give them a different outlook at life. Even if they went back home, I knew that I at least gave them a glimpse of a different life- hopefully a better life- they can take with them, knowing they could have a brighter future if they chose to.
There are definitely struggles when you are a foster parent, whether you foster young children or teenagers. You’ll get the tantrums with the little ones and behavioral issues with teens. You have to take what they’ve been through into account. Teenagers have teenage issues, like friends and school. Don’t give up on these kids. They may just be trying to push your buttons to see if you’ll give up on them like their parents have given up on them.
While there are both pros and cons to being a foster parent, you have to look at the bigger picture: remember what you’re doing for them in the long run. Not everyone is cut out to be a foster parent, and that is something that I tell everyone. Everyone should try to give a child a better life with a warm bed to sleep in and feel the love they deserve from a family.
The hardest obstacle I had to go through as a foster parent was when I was looking to adopt a child. DCF (Department of Children and Families) reunified her with her biological mom. That was definitely hard on me and my emotions got in the way. It was especially hard for me to understand this in the beginning. I took a break from fostering and did Respite work for a while. Once I was able to process it all and understood that everything happens for a reason, I continued fostering and opened my doors to other children. I was able to get my first foster child back when she was put back into care when she was eight years old. It turned out great because my younger sister was able to adopt her, and she is still in my life today, which is rewarding. There’s going to be obstacles and emotions when you are a foster parent, but it’s all worth it in the end.
The advice I would give to foster parents, or someone who is thinking of becoming a foster parent, is don’t give up on the struggle. There are always going to be ups and downs in anything that we do in life, but nothing could be more rewarding than becoming a foster parent and knowing what you can do for these young children. Remember that they didn’t choose to be in this predicament. They were put in it because of the lifestyle they were in. You are giving them a better life for a better future, so they don’t end up doing the same thing if/when they have children. Look at it as a blessing for both the children and yourself because of what you bring for each other. I believe we are meant to take care of each other. What better way to take care of a little one than opening our hearts and our homes to give them a better future? Don’t give up on being a foster parent. New foster parents stay strong and know that everything you put into it is worth it. Being a foster parent is very rewarding. Sometimes it may not seem so, but in the end when you sit down at night and reflect on everything, the rewards will present itself.