My Support System

So as a single mom, obviously there is not a dad for my kids. 

 

But that is where some of my best friends come in.  You see I have awesome friends who would be willing to fight for “my kids” as much as I would.  There are two particular guys who have stepped up and taken my girls to “daddy daughter” events, from which they would otherwise be excluded.  But they aren’t.  They have the guy who I affectionately refer to as my “gay boyfriend”, who they have even refered to as their dad.  And then one of my best friends boyfriends who came from a family where they took in foster kids.  I don’t know what I would do without them.  They help my girls see that there are great guys out there who treat ladies right.  I am so blessed by them!  And there are other guys who have moved away, but were great father figures to my various kids.  People that my kids would light up when they saw them and run to them.  And my friends would light up as well. 

And then there are my best friends who are female and are aunts to the girls.  They are my shoulder to cry on and support.  Because there are times when the girls don’t want to talk to me because I am mom, but they will go to my best friend, because that is what aunts are for after all. 

I fully believe that it takes a village to raise a child, and I am so thankful that I have the village that I have.  They are wonderful, amazing, generous people who love my kids! 

Are my heartstrings tied to all my kids, yes, but I couldn’t be the mom that I am without the amazing support system that I have! 

It all boils down to love

So last night was interesting. 

 

A lot of times I equate being a foster parent to being divorced without having ever had the positive benefits because as they prepare to head home, you have to deal more than ever with their bio parents.  This can be positive, and that is the goal, but at times it is incredibly frustrating.  Dealing with bio parents can result in your normally well-behaved child turning into an absolute mess.  Imagine not just a four or five year old throwing a two-year old tantrum, but worse a normal regular 12 year-old pulling the same thing.  And I’m not even really sure what caused it, but she went from bright, happy almost teenager into total melt down mode.  And in these moments I don’t quite know what to do. But I love her through it, and move on.  Because honestly the most important thing in being a foster mom or really any mom is to love your kids no matter what.  I’m convinced that love, structure, and discilpine are the keys to raising any child.

Which then there are the people that are foster parents for the money.  Which A. obviously I have no clue how they are doing this because I certainly am not making money, and B. if you are in this for money then stop.  It isn’t worth the money that they pay.  But I wouldn’t trade my time spent as a mom for anything.  Of course my kids are in sports and dance and even the oldest wanted to be in a pageant.  And raising a kid isn’t cheap.  It has to be about more than the money, it has to be about love.

What is the hardest thing about being a foster parent?

I think that one of the questions that people ask the most frequently is what isthe hardest thing about being a foster parent or those who are somewhat aware of how it works the related how can you give them up?  With the usual added comment – I just don’t think I could do it.  Well let me break it down, it isn’t easy.  But it just part of the job.  And there are days like today when it still hurts like crazy.  You see there was a set of kids that I had for two years, and it has been four and a half years since they left, and I still feel like crying some days because I still miss them so much.  So no, it isn’t easy, but I wouldn’t trade a moment of time that I had with them, and yes those were in the before I took teenagers era.  I’ve had lots of children go through my home since they left, but I will always miss them.  I will always feel like there is a piece of me missing.  I will go through lonely days, feeling like I’m all alone, because I feel like I’ve already talked all of my friend’s ears off about how much I miss them, and so instead I internalize.  I guess that is part of the reason for starting this blog.  I want other fosters parents out there to know that they aren’t alone.  They need to know that it is ok that they still miss and grieve for their kiddos.  And if it isn’t ok, at least they aren’t alone in it.  Because I still miss my babies.  There are days (again like today) that I facebook creep hoping to see a recent picture of them.  I’m on relatively good terms with the family, but it has been nearly a year since I saw them.  When they were with me, they were constantly in front of the camera lens, so I snatch up anything I can get.  (The fact that their mom is more liekly to post a picture of their dog…I’d better not go there…)  But it isn’t easy to let go, and you never fully do let go because when you open your heart they become a part of who you are, and that won’t go away.  I truly believe that I have every right to grieve for them.  I held them in my arms for two years, sang them to sleep, kissed their booboos, wiped their tears, and you can’t tell me that I wasn’t a mom to them just because biologically they aren’t mine.  Because I love them just as completely as any mother.  And without them in my life, there will always be a piece of me missing.  And yes that truly is the hardest part of being a foster parent is trying to let go of the children that you love.

Confessing who I am

I am a foster mom.  In case you hadn’t gathered that from the title of the blog, but I’m also single.  I have no children of my own, but I love “my kids” as if they were.  They drive me crazy sometimes, but what mother can’t say that.  At the moment I am dealing with teenagers.  It is still a new experience for me, because for several years I was the “mother” of preschoolers.  And then all of a sudden I skip from the oldest being in Kindergarten to high school and middle school.  That was a shock to my system.  But I do enjoy having older kids now most of the time… not so much when they are sassing or arguing about doing their chores, but that is just typical kid issues that every parent deals with… I’ve also mainly dealt with girls, which isn’t surprising considering that I am a single female. But these kids are mine, even if only with me for a short period of time.  I’ve said it before, and I’m sure that I will say it again, but if I don’t fight for these kids, then who will.  They need someone to love them, and they need a soft place to land, and I just pray that I can be what they need.  That I can show them love, and stability, and structure.  I want them to leave having learned things while they were with me that they can take anywhere.  Because I’m never guaranteed where they will go or what they will do.  So I can only do what I can while they are with me.  It doesn’t stop me from praying when they leave, and I will always welcome them home.  It may not be the most typical family, but it is a family that loves!