You’re a foster parent. You’ve opened up your home and your heart to a child in need. You’ve done it because you believe every child deserves a safe and loving home. But, that doesn’t make it easy. Nope, not even a little bit. Raising any child is full of ups and downs that would make even the scariest roller coaster look like a playground slide. It can be maddening, frustrating and fantastic all in the span of 24 hours. Here are 6 faces every foster parent can recognize.
1. The “Don’t Even Think About Doing That” Face
Your foster child is holding your keys over the toilet. He looks at you solemnly at first, gauging your reaction to this increasingly precarious situation. He knows it’s been a long day, even though it only started about an hour ago. He sees you make this face. For a second, he pauses. You seem something in his eyes — is it, could it be, reason? And then he smiles.
The “I Can’t Believe You Did That” Face
He did it. Dropped the keys right in the toilet.
The “I Can’t Even” Face
You and your foster child are playing in his room. You’ve been using blocks to build a castle together and now he’s using his Superman action figure to fly around his new “fortress.” The phone rings and you look to him and see he’s completely immersed in playing. You think to yourself, “It’ll only be a second, it’ll be okay.” You get up, answer the phone, kindly tell the telemarketer no thank you and are back in the room in less than a minute. That’s when you see the castle has been demolished, blocks are everywhere. That would be fine, of course, if the entire room wasn’t covered in Spagehtti-O’s. Where did they even come from? Did we even have them in the house? And there stands your foster son, flying a Spaghetti-O’s covered Superman over the wreckage of your life.
The “I Just Have To Scream” Face
It’s not your fault, dear foster child. You are but a kid. But I have to scream because you are screaming something about being hungry and you are covered in mystery Spaghetti-O’s.
The “I’m Scared But Trying To Be Strong” Face
As you’re cleaning up your Spaghetti-O splattered foster child and room, you notice that he’s suddenly quiet. In fact, is he staring at something? You follow his gaze to the floor where you spot one single solitary O shaped pasta that you missed. The thing is covered in dog hair and some other weird green substance and…wait…where did it go? Why is your foster child chewing. Oh. My. God.
The “I Can’t Wait To Do This Again Tomorrow” Face
You wouldn’t trade this day in for all the world. It’s a lot of things, but mostly, it’s love.
Lloyd Nelson is the Digital Media Manager of Foster and Adoptive Family Services. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.