Something I have been thinking about a good bit lately is various myths people believe, and misconceptions people have, about being a foster or adoptive parent. Today I’d like to write briefly about what I think is the biggest myth.
Myth #1: Foster parents are special.
We are not special. Not by a long shot.
Don’t get me wrong, I like to think I’m awesome, and generally like to be told I’m awesome. I don’t think I’m unique in this. So in a way I have to admit I enjoy hearing something along the lines of, “Oh, y’all do so much, I could never do that.”
Problem is, it’s not true.
You should not believe that you have to be special to be a foster parent. The truth is that, like parenting, most of it is just showing up and being there.
I know single mothers. I know parents of five kids, and folks who have special needs children. I also know families that look practically perfect, who struggle more than a lot of people would believe.
All parents deal with a lot of crap. Sometimes it’s literally in diapers, most of the time it’s just part of being a parent.
Are there problems unique to being a foster parent? Of course. We don’t get nine months’ warning that a new kid is coming. We have to deal with visitations, visits from case workers, and all sorts of rules and regulations.
At the end of the day, though, we are loving kids and helping them grow. We may not do it for the entire life of the child (most likely we won’t) but it’s still, when all is said and done, parenting.