I’ve been asked many times why I chose to foster. My answer is simple. I didn’t. It chose me.
Sitting at a meeting one hot August night, I found myself accosted by a 2-year-old boy with an angelic face who promptly jumped into my lap, buried his sweaty little head in my chest and sat there for the entire two-hour meeting. When the meeting ended, I looked at his presumed parents and playfully asked, “Can I have him?”
Unbeknownst to me, my life was about to look vastly different in the months ahead. You see, this beauty of a boy was being fostered by his aunt and uncle – “kinship care” in foster speak – and that very afternoon, they had called the social worker and given their 30-day notice. They were unable to continue providing care for this little guy and his 3-year-old sister.
After discussing this with my husband and birth children, we decided as a family to enter the world of fostering. Our lives have never been the same.
So I ask each of you the question I opened with. Why did you choose fostering? More importantly, for those of you who have yet to embark on the fostering road, why have you NOT chosen to foster?
With your involvement, I look forward to continuing to blog about all things related to fostering. My goal is to start a conversation not just for foster parents, but for all who want to make a difference in the life of a foster child. When you get involved, your life will never be the same.
I encourage you to visit cssw.org or call 414-KID-HERO (414-543-4376) for more information about foster care.
Paulette is a foster and adoptive parent. She works at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin as a foster parent liaison, providing support, offering encouragement and advocating for foster parents throughout all phases of fostering and adoption.
Paulette also discusses foster care and adoption on the Kid Hero blog from Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin.