My best friend in high school, “Alice,” was adopted by a man and his wife when she was three months old. Alice’s adoptive parents were very good to her. It was through her that I learned early on about the importance of foster and adoptive parents for children whose biological parents aren’t around. Whether the parents are deceased or otherwise unavailable, the children of these parents still need caregivers. Relatives aren’t always available. In cases like these, the children are placed in foster homes or are put up for adoption.
I knew since I was a teen that I wanted to some day become a foster parent. A good friend of mine whom I’d known for many years, and who herself had been a foster mother for five years, helped me submit an application in 2005 for becoming a foster parent. I had to pass a background test and a physical, and take parenting classes. I had to submit personal references, and my automobile was checked to see that it was mechanically sound and properly insured. In addition, an employee with the foster family agency came to my home to make sure that all utilities were on, and that I had suitable living quarters for a child.
Once I’d gone through the screening process and I had completed the parenting classes, which took several months, it was only two weeks before I welcomed into my house my first foster child – a sweet newborn little girl. Two years after that, I welcomed a second foster child – a sweet little ten-month-old boy. I was the child’s sixth foster parent in a three-month period.
Becoming a foster parent has been as challenging -- and rewarding – as I thought it would be.
Though it keeps me quite busy, being the foster mother of a five-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy is filled with daily rewards. For example, my foster children help keep me in good spirits, since they are so spirited and friendly. I love it when they take turns coming up to me to hug me and tell me that...