Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014

Foster Care

It's been 3-4 years now that I've been a babysitter for a foster mother. (Since I began a full time job as waitress, it's been less often.) This Mother has 2 of her own children and a big heart. So she and her husband have been doing foster care for several years. 
You wouldn't believe the sad stories of some of these children. From starvation to sexual abuse to abandonment, they all have stories that make you want to cry. The look in the eyes of a 2 year old who is confused about where she is and to whom she belongs breaks your heart.

The kids who stayed the longest were Kylie and Kayden; half siblings. They were very attached to each other and were very trusting to anyone who was nice to them. They had their foster mom and their real mom and didn't seem to have a clear idea of which one was which. I took care of them for over a year, until they were returned to their birth Mother.
I was blessed to watch them grow and change in that time.
Kylie, soon after she arrived and the month she left.
Kayden, who barely could hold his head up after having been kept in a car seat for the first 9 months of his life. As you can tell by his older picture, he was extremely mischievous.

Look how much they changed in 2 years!!

My friend, Sylvia, also helped babysit and was, in fact, better at it then me. =) We got a Christmas picture with them in 2012. The boys second from left and on the far right are the children of the foster mom. The baby is Kaya, sister of the Kylie and Kayden.

Occasionally the pair would spend the night at my house and play with the little brothers, much to the delight of  all.  
They went back to their birth mom and baby sister last year. Sadly, that didn't turn out and they were taken away again. So, they are back with the foster family for an undetermined amount of time. Glad as I am to see them again and watch them grow up, it's so sad to know their story and realize they have never known a stable life.

Imagine never knowing if you will be in the same home a week from now. And being passed from family to family and made to adapt. It's no wonder that they are confused about who is family and who isn't.

It IS hard to do foster care. Not just all the paperwork involved, but the fact that you get attached to the children and they can be taken away at a moments notice and you might never see them again. There is also the needs that they all have. The emotional damage as well as health problems from their former lives don't just go away with the loving care you give them. 

 Still, I believe that whether you have the children for a week or a year, you can touch their lives. And you never know, it may be the only safe and bright time in their lives. 
So, to whoever is doing foster care or adopting a child, you are my heroes!!!

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven."
Matthew 18:10