I just ran across a Chrstmas Eve article from the Atlanta Journal Constitution. It was written by a gentleman named Tom Rawlings and talks about a family that adopted a disabled child from foster care. It also talks about the support of the community that they have been getting. It is a very nice article and is worth taking a look at.
It is nice to hear about community support as there have been times I have received those "looks" from people when they find out we are doing foster care. Even though I have a decent job, and have supported my family fine over the years, to include raising three children of my own, people still think we are being foster parents for "the money" If only they knew. I don't know what they think the state gives us. Or why they feel the need to be so judgemental about others.
What do you say to people when they ask you if the foster child is your ___________ fill in the blank? (we usually get granddaughter). We have been saying no, she is our foster daughter, but that is what brings on those looks.
We shouldn't be worrying about those looks or thinking about saying just "yes" to answer the question. What we need to do as part of the foster parent community to is act as better advocates for ourselves. We do a great job of advocating for our foster children, but it is time we start advocating for ourselves. We have to get those members of the community who understand what foster parenting is all about, to help as well. There are just too many people who don't have a clue. While articles like this one by Mr. Rawlings certainly help we have to do more.
So what am I going to do? I am not sure. I am open to suggestions though, so please feel free to comment and give me your ideas while I try to come up with some ideas of my own.