There is no way around it. Being a foster parent is super hard work. It will test you to your limits. And yet people keep choosing to become foster parents. There must be incredible rewards to compensate for the difficulties. There are incredible rewards. And not only do they compensate for the difficulties. They come from the difficulties. Here are three main rewards of fostering children.
It will exhaust you.
Yes, fostering children is a day to day difficult job. But it is no grueling grind. Here are some of the ways that your foster child or children will exhaust you.
- Play. How long has it been since you played? Your foster kids will want to play endless games. You can play with toys. You can play outside. You can make up games. You can fly a kite. You can get dressed up. You can pretend to be butterflies or knights errant.
- Questions. Your foster child will never run out of questions. Foster children may have some hard questions about their past experiences. But they will also have a million questions about the world. You will see everything in new ways. You can take them to the library and check out books on subjects as diverse as the food ancient cultures ate, how trucks work, constellations, circus acrobats, animation, bugs, etc.
- Hugs. Your foster child may never tire of wanting to be held, kissed, rocked, danced with, soothed, tickled, and swung. And who doesn’t like a hug?
It will challenge you.
Fostering is challenging. And it is challenging in special ways. You will realize one day that just as your foster child is growing, you too are also growing, not just as a foster parent, but as a whole person.
- Resourcefulness. Not only will you have to make Halloween costumes, you may also have to make costumes for the school play. You may even be asked to write the school play – or musical. Bake sales have evolved. You may be asked to design a marketing campaign and manage a budget for an online fundraiser. You will be amazed at all you can do!
- Creativity. You will need to be creative in ways beyond arts and crafts and cooking. You will have to come up with games to incentivize chores and chart discipline. You will have to come up with songs for getting your foster kid to eat, clean up, and sleep. You may be surprised how fun these can become.
It will transform you.
Then the day will come when you will launch your foster child into the world. Whether they go off to a job, a place of their own, a romantic partner, college, or a gap year traveling, it will break your heart to see them go. But it will fill your heart to know that they succeeded, and you succeeded.