Our biological children are 6 and 8. They were 2 and 4 when we got our first placement (who we would later go on to adopt). I would be lying if I said I was never worried about how our decision to do foster care or adopt would affect them. While we were in the process of getting licensed, I would have these panicked moments where I would envision them in therapy someday lamenting about how their parents took in children and it destroyed their life. I could picture them saying that they never bonded with the adopted or foster children, and how they wished they were never part of our family.
And boy how I was wrong. There is a brotherly/sisterly bond like no other. They defend one another, love on one another, and pick on each other as if they were all from the same womb. They have loved and lost, and have come out standing. They have joined us in prayer for our foster babies, pleading with the Lord to keep them safe or asking for favor from the various judges. They have raised their hands at their brother’s and sister’s adoption hearing and taken an oath to love their new sibling as a forever member of the family.
It hasn’t always been roses. There has been jealousy, fighting, and harsh words spoken. In the beginning, there were moments from my oldest where he has shared his frustration about how difficult it was to love a foster sibling when there didn’t seem to be any love given in return.
I thought I would interview each of my biological children to see what they really thought of our foster care and adoption experience.
Me- “Do you boys know what it means to be a foster parent?”
Jack-“It means that we take care of babies that have parents that can’t take care of them”
Ty-“It means that we get babies and sometimes we get to adopt them”
Me- “What is your favorite part about adopting some of your siblings?”
Jack-“That they will never leave our house”
Ty-“When they give us a teddy bear at the adoption”
Me-“What is the hardest part about foster care?”
Jack-“Sometimes the babies cry a lot”
Ty- “When the babies leave”
Me- “What do you wish you could change about our family and how we take in babies?”
Jack;” I wish that some of the babies wouldn’t have to leave and I wish we would adopt a couple more”
Ty- “I wish you would let us get 1,000 more babies but you always say no”
Me-” What are you most excited for about us opening the shelter?”
Jack-“We could work there and help the house”
Ty- “I could put all the babies in their jammies and lay with them on the floor”
So while the years of adoption and foster care haven’t always been flawless, I’d say we didn’t damage our kids in the way we had feared. I’m sure they will be in therapy someday for something else from their childhood, but I don’t think it will be from us adopting and stepping in to fill the gap with foster care.