Unfortunately, we personally are at the end of our foster care journey, for several reasons which I may share at some point. I wanted to share some of the interesting, fun, and funny things foster parents deal with. Because you know you’re a foster parent when some of these scenarios apply to you!
So, without further ado,
You Know You’re A Foster Parent When…
- You have at least 15 brand new toothbrushes, ranging from toddler to adult!
- Your 7 year old foster son calls you by your name and people look at you like some “new age” parent.
- You are in line at Target and your 4 year old foster daughter says to the lady checking us out. “My mommy needs to get a job because she sells drugs.”
- Someone asks how many kids you have and your answer is “depends on the day”.
- You are at Lowe’s picking out carpet with 3 under 3 and a guy says you look like you need a few more …… and you say here’s hoping.
- Someone asks for “your” child’s date of birth and you look like a deer in the headlights.
- You have 4 boxes of lice treatment in your bathroom cupboard ‘just in case’.
- Someone knocks on the door and your toddler screams “yay! Someone is bringing us a new baby!”
- You read Little Golden Books to teenagers who have never heard the stories and actually really love being read to.
- You fill out a child’s medical history and almost every answer is “unknown”.
And A Few More
- You see a look of confusion as people try to figure out how it’s possible for my kids to be 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 10, 10, 10, 11 & 16.
- Nobody can remember whose birthday it is.
- You have a minimum of 5 different last names in your family on any given day.
- You’re 4 hours away from home and trying to find an ER on Saturday night because baby girl just got a black eye. (Everything needs to be documented!)
- There are looks of confusion as people, even medical professionals, try to figure out how you have “twins” that are 6 weeks apart.
- You take a new sibling set to the dentist and have to call the social worker to confirm their last names and birthdates. In front of everyone else in the waiting room.
- Birth control tips get frequently whispered to you by passing strangers.
- A worker arrives carrying a toddler, and says “Sorry, no shoes” and you reply “No problem I have several pairs his size in the closet”.
- It’s not unusual to get a call from a dhhr worker. “I know you are with an agency now….. And I know your at max….. I already called them…. They can up your kids limit….. It’s an emergency, could you take four more?”
- You go the hospital to pick up a newborn baby boy and you actually come home with a newborn baby girl.
Just In Case You’re Relating Or Enjoying These, You Know You’re A Foster Parent When:
- Strangers say “he must look like dad” and you respond without skipping a beat “I don’t remember, I only saw him once”.
- Your 4 year old foster daughter asks loudly in line at Target “Mama, when’s daddy getting out of jail?”
- Someone asks if your kids all have the same dad and you tell them “nope, there are 5 dads”.
- You walk your gang into church Sunday morning and your favorite greeter welcomes the “new kids” into the family…and you have to explain that they are just friends that spent the night last night.
- CPS asks if you can take another placement and you have to count seat belts in the van to make sure you have enough room to get them all to school.
- You trade in your car for something larger on the way to the courthouse to pick up a sibling group.
- A visit was missed and you find out the next day it’s because the parent was in jail and nobody thought to tell you.
- You go to a restaurant and they say “how many?” And you have to count because you honestly don’t know.
- Your dog and a child in your home have the same name.
- Everyone keeps asking “are those your kids”? Um yes, I produced a 13 year old, 9 year old and 2 year old since our last soccer practice 2 days ago…and we are different races.
And finally, you know you’re a foster parent when people tell you how brave you are but, really, you just feel tired. Really, really tired. Just so tired of the system. Tired of seeing the pain these kids are put through. And just plain old tired from not getting a full nights sleep in so long!
If foster care is of interest to you, we have a mini-series of Foster Care posts that share a variety of information.