September 9th, 2011
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1251758_boys_in_the_woods_2“I worry about how it will affect my children if I become a foster parent.”

I have heard that statement often from people who are interested in taking a role in foster care but do not know how to deal with the fear of the unknown that comes ‘with the territory,’ if you will. I have one biological child, one child adopted from foster care and one child who was adopted internationally. Though that does not make me an expert- it does give me the experience to speak on the subject.

I can honestly say that biological children are affected by foster care. It would be impossible to bring a new child into an existing family and not expect it to change things. Yet this is true for having a baby, fostering a child or adopting. Children are affected by everything that is brought into their lives. If a child comes into a house and leaves, the biological children in the home may not understand.

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The easiest way to deal with the issues that arise from fostering is to talk about them often. Every child has the capacity to open their lives to another child, they just need the support from their parents to ensure that their emotional needs are met. In our family, my oldest is a biological child. He is exactly four and a half months older than his brother (who came as a foster child many years ago.) The main thing that I noticed about the changes in my biological son was that he grew up a little quicker. He learned to ‘take care’ of his brother because his brother had medical issues.

To say that he walked through untouched would be untrue but I have to say that my biological son has become a better person because we grew our family through foster care. He learned that he was blessed and when you have that much- giving is a good thing. He learned that not everyone has a happy home but when you do, share the happiness.

Not every day is easy or happy for my children. They struggle with each other. They bicker. They make each other’s lives miserable. Yet, they have learned to cross the barriers that where intended to separate and deal with life together. They have been touched by foster care and adoption in every facet of their lives. It affects everything, kind of. On the other hand, it affects nothing. They are a family. That is what they know.

If you are interested in foster care, please contact a local agency in your area. There are many children who are waiting for their forever families.

~Angie
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2 Responses to “How Will Foster Care Affect My Children?”

  1. bob7 says:

    This post was quite good and I think it addresses the issues of fostering very young children when there are other children already in the home. However, I have a different perspective regarding an older age group. My parents fostered many teenage and pre-teen children while I was growing up. Many of these kids had already developed bad habits such as smoking and being sexually active. I’m certainly not trying to dissuade anyone from fostering these children because what they need more than anything is a stable caring family, but if you have other children already in your home you need to be proactive about managing the dynamic of your new family situation. All-in-all I am a better person for the experience I had as a foster brother, however at the time I definitely acted up more than I would have otherwise.

    • Angie says:

      How true your comments are and thank you for posting them. That is a major concern when fostering older children. It is very difficult to accomplish a correct balance without one child suffering. I believe you when you said that you “are a better person because of [your] experience as a foster brother.” Unfortunately, there are bad habits that come with the territory and you are right children in the home are definitely affected. Again Thanks for the post-

      ~Angie

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