My name is Serena and would like to share with you the experience of being a foster parent and what foster parenting means to me. I myself have raised 2 daughters and have 3 wonderful grandchildren whom I spend much time with. At a time in my life when I found myself widowed and entering a new chapter of living, I wondered what this chapter would be like and what experiences were ahead.
About a year ago, I received a phone call from my brother, and shortly after found myself heading to the airport to pick up 2 beautiful nieces; ages 8 and 11. At the time I pretty much just answered the distressed call of a relative in need as I agreed to have my nieces stay with roe for a while. I was just being a good “Auntie.” This has been a very interesting and challenging year with the girls. I along with the girls have learned so many new things and have shared many new experiences. I now realize that the day I opened my hope up to my nieces I no longer was the “Auntie”.. At the moment I now became a “Foster Parents as well.
Being a foster parent has been an awesome experience for me. I felt that when my nieces came to live with me I couldn’t change their past living situation or what they had experienced along their way. I wasn’t able to fix everything for them or make any of their negative past experiences go away. However; what I could do was provide a safe and nurturing environment to give them a chance to grow, to heal if needed, to laugh or cry, and know that they will be heard, loved, and accepted in our home.
The past year has made me aware of the need for children and the need for children to have a voice that will stand behind them, protect them, and provide a safe place for them to live. Since the arrival of my two nieces I have committed myself to be that voice for other foster children as well. I have had a few additional children past through our home; providing respite for them. With each child who passes our way I continue to extend our home and provide foster paring to each child.
There are many types of parenting in our society, there is traditional parenting (2 parent families), there is single parenting, there is teen parenting, and there is foster parenting. My experience in foster parenting will and has been to provide good positive parenting to children whom may or may not have had this experience in their lives.
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