Why … three simple letters and one simple question. A question that foster parents know all too well because they have been asked it over and over and over again — by their beloved family members, closest friends and total strangers. It’s a question that is asked because from the outside one may see difficulties, pain, turmoil and sorrow.
From the outside, one may think fostering as a hopeless, ineffective, futile or despairing endeavor. As a foster parent, I cannot expect others to understand that God has placed upon our hearts to live out this beautiful, powerful and yes, very difficult story. My vision, my thoughts and my heart are different from someone who looks at foster care from the outside. I cannot expect their eyes to see what I see and their heart to feel what mine does.
Where you see chaos … I see glimpses of progress.
Where you see exhaustion … I see the healing process working.
Where you see naughty … I see the trauma coming out.
Where you see broken … I see potential.
When you think something is hopeless … I am encouraged to think “out of the box.”
When you think futile … I endlessly look for the fruitful.
When you think ineffective … I think every second spent toward a solution is worthwhile.
Have I questioned myself about this journey? ABSOLUTELY! Time and time again, in fact.
Pain, loss and blessings
As I step out in faith into situations that have been difficult and painful, I have had my doubts. I have let fear take over and have lost sleep worrying and questioning my decisions. I have cried a multitude of tears, and I have let anger get the best of me. I have leaned on my family and friends too many times to count. Yet through it all, my heart has always come back to the blessing of living this amazing life just as we are.
After our adopted daughter Lucy’s brothers left us (reunified with mom), our family actually took some time to deal with the pain and loss. We went 16 months without taking in a placement. The time may have gone even longer if it hadn’t been for the endless questions from our children. Questions like, ”Are we still a foster family?” and statements like “This is what we do.” And “There are children who need us.” We took in two sisters after that 16 month break.
So while there are many days this fostering journey has drained the life from us, there are far more memories of the amazing life we have because of it.
Does that answer your question?
– Betsy DuKatz, licensed foster parent
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services recruits, trains and provides support services for foster families. The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is great. Contact us to receive information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or visit our website to learn more.