Dear Children Who Foster,
We see you. We, foster parents, who receive the pats on the back and the “God bless you’s,” we know your unnoticed sacrifices.
We know the way you freely give up your rooms, your toys, your parents and your home. We watch you graciously sit at the dinner table each night, fully realizing that the “least of these” is sitting next to you.
We see you lending a listening ear to a foster sibling dysregulated and scared. We know you hear stories far too mature for your age. And though we try hard to shelter you from those stories, we know you quietly shoulder burdens of worry, anxiety and fear.
We watch you daily live out sacrificial love. We watch you struggle with anger and long for life before foster care.
We hear the uncertainty in your voice when you ask why they were taken from their parents and if you could be taken from yours.
You, Children Who Foster, are the true warriors in the battle for the hearts of foster children. It is not the foster parents, the case workers, the lawyers, the CASAs, therapists or judges. Though all of their work is admirable, they accepted their roles by choice.
You, on the other hand, were thrust in this fight. You were placed on the front lines armed only with innocence, tolerance, optimism and a vast ability to love completely.
You are at the heart of this story. As parents we worry how it will all turn out. We ask ourselves questions like, “Will they resent us later for this?” or “Are we ruining their childhood?” or “Is this even fair to them?”
But even as the questions swirl, we watch your growing resilience and your understanding that this difficult work is important.
Every time you field questions about whether they are your “real” brother or sister or why they are living in your house, your quiet, simple answers attest to the wisdom in your sweet spirit.
So, on the days you’re overwhelmed, please remember, you are seen and you are loved.
Thank you for what you do for foster kids. You are the true heroes of foster care.
Jenn Morris is a freelance writer, blogger and a mom of six (some biological, some foster). Learn more about her and our other bloggers here and check out all our foster care resources here. If you want to volunteer to help foster kids, see this list of opportunities.