A foster mother named Emily from Portland, Oregon, took to social media to explain to friends and strangers to the fostering process what it meant to be a foster parent. Even though Emily and her husband have two biological children, the idea that some people didn’t understand what foster kids go through was something that she wanted to address.
Emily describes just a few of the phone calls that she has received during her time as a foster mother, including a phone call in the middle of the night from a DHS supervisor who had a three-year-old girl who was in need of immediate placement after her mother was shot by her father. Other stories include children needing placement after traumatic events, and a newborn who needed to be moved from another foster care home.
These stories, Emily says, showcase the life of a foster parent, where a child’s security is cemented with a yes or a no by the foster parent. She goes on to explain that becoming a foster parent is a difficult choice, with no knowledge of who you might take in and when and the difficulties that arise from fostering a child and then having them leave your home.
But, she goes on to say, it is not a decision that she and her husband have ever regretted. She explains that foster children don’t have any say in what happens to them, and they go through tough times all by themselves. The least she can do, or the least any foster parent can do, Emily says, is to go through it with them, letting those children know that they are not alone. And as much as Emily and her husband give those children — that love and security and encouragement — through fostering, each child gives them lessons and memories to remember them by.
It’s not always easy to say goodbye, Emily admits, but she’s come to understand that foster kids need foster parents like her to make it through difficult times. So when the next call comes, asking Emily and her family to take in another child in need, she will say yes. She will take a child in, she will nurture them and give them stability, and she will cry when they leave. But she will always say yes to a foster kid.