The “I’ll do it someday” people never change the world. It’s the “I’ll do it anyway” people who make a difference.
Many aspects of fostering are difficult and even heartbreaking. So, how do people stay licensed foster parents year after year and child after child? How do they endure rough relationships with parents, false accusations, trauma behaviors, court appearances, delays, school conferences and calls, appeals and reunification?
The answer, though simple, is one of the most difficult things to do … THEY DO IT ANYWAY!
Foster parents persevere
Society bombards us daily with messages to do something for something — for fame, fortune or at least a shoe contract. So why despite all the difficulties and obstacles do foster parents persevere? My dear friends, they “do it anyway!”
We don’t communicate with our foster child’s biological parent because of the warm fuzzies we get in return. On the contrary, this hurting individual may lash out at us with words or actions that make us want to end all contact with them. But we know that if there is any chance of healing for the child, we need to be the one in the relationship that sticks with it. We know it’s in the best interest of the child to be adults and work on a relationship, so we “do it anyway.”
The children we step in to raise will say or do things that make us question the why and how of fostering. Some days we take a step forward, and others we take several steps backward. There will be sleepless nights and meltdown days, but through it all we will “do it anyway.”
The child welfare system will have us navigate through the endless maze of cancellations and delays, dates set and then reset, and last-minute changes that chip away at hope you’ve built. You will try your best to find the logic surrounding decisions and choices. People on the outside looking in will find difficulty in the meaning of it all, yet you, my friend, will “do it anyway.”
Life is messy, but it’s through the muck and the mud that we pan for gold, and where we find treasure. My dear foster parents, you are the gold tidbits in this life because you “do it anyway!”
– 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.