Written by Alisha Palmer
My name is Alisha, I’m an adult adoptee and foster mom.
As a teen I was adopted by the most amazing mom and dad. I had lived with them for many years prior to my adoption and really yearned for that forever family. As I grew older I knew my calling was to provide the same stability for other children that my parents did for me.
Fast forward a few years and in 2012 and my husband and I became therapeutic and medically fragile foster parents. Since then we have welcomed 10 children in our home.
Before becoming a foster parent, I had preconceived thoughts that the children’s parents would be evil or scary people…
They are not.
Many of them are hurt children that have grown up into hurt adults. They were not shown the love and stability they needed as children and in turn do not understand how to provide it as an adult. I have the honor to love them as much as I love their children. These parents quickly become an extension of my family and I am thankful for the lasting bonds I have made with some of my foster children’s parents.
Foster care has taught me that all humans have had traumatic experiences, some of us were afforded opportunities to overcome them more easily, while others continue to have to fight the the darkness, often alone. Together, we can help each other. I have been humbled by so many parents that I work with by watching their drive, passion, and love. We often just need that one person to believe in us to change our entire life.
I have also been humbled by my village of family, friends, and neighbors on their outreach to help in any way they can when a child enters our home. They welcome them in their home and hearts immediately. They show these children what unconditional love and acceptance truly means and help us make it through.
When people find out we are foster parents I so often hear, “I couldn’t do it; I’d get too attached”.
But that’s the point…
The point of foster care isn’t to just let a child stay in the spare bedroom of your home. It is to show them unconditional love and support.
Is foster care hard?
Is is gut wrenchingly hard when a child leaves?
Is it worth it?
All the YESES.
To the common statement, “I couldn’t do it; I’d get too attached”… Well, that’s the point- to get attached- to show these children they are worthy of positive attachment, trust, and love. Go all in. Get your heartbroken.
Then do it again. Love does hard things.
If you are interested in getting involved in Foster Care but aren’t sure if you could be a parent just yet, know that you don’t have to open your home to support children and families in the system. You can donate new/gently used clothing or toys to a local foster family; offer to cook meals during the first few weeks of a child entering a foster home as this is a stressful time for the child and family as they work to navigate getting to know each other and bonding; find organizations to volunteer with that benefit foster children, such as Together We Rise; become a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) or Court Appointed Advocate (CASA). (Google these phrases or words plus your city to find ways to get involved in your home town!)
Not everyone can foster, but everyone can make a difference in the life of these children.