Childrearing

Foster Care 101: Tips For Successful Foster Parents

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Let go of the things you can’t control.

“I can still remember the day I found out that my first foster care child had gone back to his abusive mother. I had been obsessively following her court hearings. The little boy had moved from my home to a aunt’s home. But I knew when he went back to his mom. I was furious and upset. I felt like nothing I had done mattered. It was horrible,” the mom’s eyes teared up as she recalled the emotional event. “And honestly, it took me a little time to get past it. But the fact is that I couldn’t control what happened after he left my home. And it’s not my place to say where that child belonged or if that mother is fit. It’s simply not my place,” she concluded, as her husband squeezed her shoulders.

“Even I fall victim to that,” Lynn admitted. “I look up cases that I saw in the ER. I pay attention to what happens to these children. And it can be so frustrating. It can make you sick if you concentrate on it too hard.”

So how do you move past it?

“You leave it up to God,” one father tells me. “You keep helping one child at a time and hoping that you make a difference,” his wife adds. The consensus in the room is that you simply try to move past the things that you can’t control.

In a way, it’s something that all of us as parents have to learn. We can’t control everything that will happen to our children when they leave our sight. And foster parents have to accept this lesson more than others. There is so much that is beyond their control.

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