Your child will always have first family. And as much as possible, we believe you should work to formulate a solid relationship with them. After all, they gave your child life. But what if there’s a possibility this will hurt your child in the long run?
It’s a valid question: “Will visiting with birth parents, or having a relationship with them, hurt my child in the long run?” We understand where this comes from. But we also know that oftentimes, birth parents get a bad rep thanks to current news media, and unwarranted or unfounded fear. There are situations that are not healthy, yes, that’s true. But, before you make a final decision on whether or not it’s healthy to be in relationship, Mike and Kristin have some advice on how to connect in the healthiest way possible…
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*Editors note- this post originally appeared on Mike’s column on Babble.com
, as recognition of May being National Foster Care Month.
We’re often asked by folks who are considering foster care, “Is it worth it?” We always answer, “Yes!” But it’s not because the road of foster parenting rose to meet us. It’s been a journey. And the heartache has made us better human beings for it!
If you could go back in time and have a conversation with 11-year old me, at some point in the conversation baseball would have come up. Eleven year old me dreamed of being a major league baseball star. It wasn’t just a pipe dream like all kids had when they were that age. It was bigger.
We believe in foster and adoptive parents. While you may never be applauded, nor recognized, what you are doing has a profound impact on the world.
It took a long time for us to believe in our story. More than a decade, in fact. We couldn’t figure out how anything good could come out of all the wounds we had sustained as parents, not to mention the trauma our children had gone through. It seemed our circumstances were never going to change. We often asked ourselves…”Is there any way to find hope in the middle of this?”
I’m trying to remember the last time I knew I fit in. I think it was pre-school. My teacher, Mrs. Green, called everyone to the story carpet. “Ok friends, time for a story,” she would sing. Friends. She always used that word, and I guess she was right. I liked everyone in that class and they liked me. I fit in there.
The rest of my life up to this point has been a constant reminder that I’m not like other people. In Jr. High it was my choice to wear the thick pink glasses. In High School it was the loneliness of the lunch hour. Pretending to do schoolwork in the library, rather than sit alone in the crowed cafeteria. As an adult, it’s the family choices we’ve made. Counter to our culture, we are minimalists with very little technology, a small house, and a fairly large family. We are exclusively foster and adoptive parents. Our lack of biological children and our constant revolving door lead to that awkward silence when neighborhood conversation turns to parenting. I’ve been known to excuse myself when the talk turns to labor and delivery or the dreaded breast-feeding vs. bottle discussion.