So, the other day there was an article circulating on Facebook called **@$* you don't say to a foster parent (that's the name if you want to look it up….I didn't bleep a curse word). It was a really funny article and it just made me start thinking how people truly think nothing is off limits. You just have to laugh.
Let me say, this is totally directed at the random strangers we meet out and about. My close friends and even just acquaintances know I am a pretty open book when it comes to questions and curiosity.
1.) Wow, you have a lot of kids.
This is what I call stating the obvious and completely unnecessary. Actually, I don't really think 4 is that many kids but I am sure it's just because they are so young. I'm just never sure how to respond to this. Do I say "thank you?" Do I say, "I know….please help??" What are they expecting me to say? Often, I just nod and say "I guess I do".
2.) Look at her glasses! Does she leave them on, Does she hate them, Does she have a hard time seeing (??), Don't you love the way she looks in them?
First of all, yes she is extremely cute in her little glasses. However, pointing out that the glasses make her way cute indicates that I am thankful she has an hinderance with her eye? I would much rather her not need them. Also, I'm never sure how in depth these people want me to go in the check out line at Kroger. Do they want a medical history as I know it? Do they want, "why yes, she does well with them but every afternoon she hides them….sometimes in the toy box, sometimes in the diaper bag, sometimes in her dresser. It's a pretty fun game of hide and seek. Then they will get pretty smudged so three or four times a day we clean them really well…." I mean, what do they want?
3.) They are so lucky to have you.
This one is not annoying when spoken genuinely from friends or family who know the situation. However, this is so annoying when spoken to the person I have just met at a restaurant. While I am so thankful that God saw fit to allow us to love them for this season, I would not call this lucky. They are in foster care. This means, through no fault of their own, they are not allowed to be with their mom or family. This means, when they are sick and need rocked, I am doing it the whole time thinking about the mom who is missing this experience. This mean, while my bio children have the security they need, these children are still searching.
4.) So you mean, they are like real sisters? That's really neat!
This one just makes you sound slightly ignorant. I'm sorry. Yes, in a crazy turn of events, their mother had more than one child. Mind blowing I know.
5.) A personal favorite…..BUT, they are so cute!
You can tell me they are cute all day long. I love to hear it. It's not arrogant when I say "I know", because I had nothing to do with it (Christie Erwin said that once and it's oh so true). They are cute, smart, funny, sassy, etc. Shockingly….a lot like Trey and Addison. I don't mind people telling me they are cute, however, when people say…BUT, they are cute, it makes me cringe. This indicates that only "ugly" children come into foster care. Only dirty, homely, poorly dressed children are out there wondering around. It may also sound shocking, but I dress them!! I am able to dress them however I want! This means, they resemble your 2 and 10 mth old! I have never been tempted to dress them in torn up trash bags just because they are in foster care.
6.) And THE personal favorite…Aren't you going to miss them when they leave?
I have written a whole post on this issue but the people who say this immediately after finding out they are in foster care (which, by the way, we don't advertise but again…people are nosy) just kill me. What do they want me to say? "No, actually I can't wait" OR "Nah, I have no real feelings for them." What kind of parent would I be if I wouldn't miss these girls when they leave. Of course I will miss these girls. I still miss baby B, however that's what makes me a good, God-called foster parent. The ability to love other people's children as my own and then allow them to leave. You know, kinda like our own kids are to us also? These are all God's children and He is just entrusting them to us for a season.
Seriously, don't think I am just cranky and don't hesitate to ask questions or make comments. It's just sometimes I think we forget these kids are just like our kids on the outside. They have some internal fears and scars that our kids don't carry around, but the bottom line is, until we quit acting like fostering is some sort of crazy, odd, out there, grocery line conversation topic, we are never going to come together to care for these kids.