It’s the phone call you’ve been waiting for; the children are on their way! Your home has been thoughtfully prepared: food is in the fridge, fluffy pillows are on the beds, and you are ready with open arms for this new adventure. Two precious children have been removed from their home and are coming to yours. Mixed emotions of empathy and excitement war inside of you, as sweet, tear-streaked faces make their way, wide-eyed, through your front door.
The journey begins. For a time, you will be their safe place. In your home, they are free to laugh or cry or be silly. With you, the children can make mistakes and be forgiven. From you, a smile won’t be withheld. The days will present their challenges, but the comfort of daily routines and the getting to know each other will brighten each day.
It doesn’t take long before your perspective begins to change, and what may have felt at first like a noble sacrifice of your own time and energy begins to feel instead like a gift received. What beautiful sounds of life fill the walls of your home! As you await the news of circumstances out of your control, you learn to find joy in the little things: a giggle, a child’s overcoming of an obstacle, a goodnight hug, and even the sparkle of a tear. You become a shoulder to cry on, and you find that you are able to offer comfort. You find that your heart is fuller than it was before.
As you help the children pack their bags to move to their next home, you discover that you have the strength to do what others said would be too difficult: say goodbye. You encourage the children toward their next adventure, and reflect on the months that now seem so short. You treasure the memories in your mind, and the photos in your phone and on your walls. As the kids are driven away, you smile through your tears. They will take with them what they learned from you, and you are taking with you what you learned from them.
As easy as it would be to now kick back and watch adventure movies on a screen, you find more joy and purpose participating in your own adventure of foster parenting. You await that next phone call with anticipation. The fridge is full and the fluffy pillows are waiting once again. The rewards of being a foster parent begin the moment the children arrive, and continue long after they leave. The adventure begins when that first question enters your mind and you wonder if you could open your home to a child. Could this journey be for you? Contact us at TFI Family Services, and ask any questions you might have. Better than a tangible reward, you will have precious memories, a newfound strength, and an ability to smile through the storms. As a foster parent you experience the joy of living an adventure alongside the priceless reward of knowing you are bringing life and hope to a child.