Foster Parents: A Long-Term Commitment
By Diane Ponist
When I tell people that I foster children, they say “I wanted to do that too, but never started the process”. I always think, maybe that’s a good thing, it’s nice to think that way, but full commitment is necessary. Any hesitation could be a very bad sign in my opinion. Whatever may have caused them not to pick up the phone and start that process, was a sign that it wasn’t meant to be.
We have learned through these last couple of years that this was our calling…we are here on earth to do this. We joke after the kids go to bed saying how bored we would be if we didn’t have to fight like we do for these children. Life is just very hectic and emotional often, little down time.
Then you hear the other end of the spectrum of foster parents do it for the money. First of all, that’s very hard to believe. I’m sure just a few may do it for the money. Those who don’t foster would never believe the struggle that is involved with being a foster parent. This isn’t a job per se or a hobby, this is a life decision that good or bad will effect you for the rest of your life.
The visits with bios, doctors, therapist and case workers alone isn’t worth the money. The pay for us at least, boils down to 23 cents per hour. So those fostering for that reason, made a very poor decision.
Bottom line is that becoming a foster parent means that you need to be 100% on board and ready for the inconveniences that I listed above. Every family member in your home needs to be on board. It is a very hard lifestyle to maintain, some marriages (we have heard about) fail because of it. For us, it has brought us closer, we are thankfully a very strong team.
I will say that being a foster parent is the most rewarding thing that you could ever do. Are there days that I feel I hit my limit? Yes. Are there days that Kristin the stay-at-home-mom, feels that she takes on too much? Absolutely. But at the end of every single day we lay our heads down, falling asleep with a purpose. We never did or ever will have any regret with our choice to foster children.