Advice from Current Foster Families: The Challenges and Rewards of Fostering (Part One) | Anna's House Foundation

Advice from Current Foster Families: The Challenges and Rewards of Fostering (Part One)

"I began fostering four years ago, and am currently a proud parent of three kids. My most challenging experience would have to be starting over with each child, remembering that each one comes from a different background and that my home and the way it’s run is totally foreign to them. 

Our eight-year-old boy came to us full of questions and fear, with overwhelming anxiety that resulted in full-on floor fits. After four months together, we have gotten to know each other and I now know how to talk to him and show him a healthy way to express anger, sadness, fear, etc. Currently, we haven’t had a fit in weeks. Our two-year-old boy came to us grunting, biting, and lots of screaming, but he quickly accepted us and is now talking on a normal, calm level. He is still boisterous, but now he laughs loudly too. We have had our two-year-old girl since birth, and we are currently in the process of adoption. 

My most rewarding experience is that one of the families whose child we temporarily fostered stays in contact with us and sends us a Christmas card with a family photo every year. It’s extremely rewarding to know that we helped reunite this family, and to see that they are all doing well. 

I’ve never verbally said this, but at the beginning of the foster parenting process, you think you are going to come in and “save” these children; and to a point, we do offer a safe haven for them in a time of crisis and chaos. However, my biggest and most important realization (and reward) is the fact that the kids actually change us. In my experience, my kids have helped me to be more patient, a better parent, and have taught me how to think outside the box, because each child is different and needs different things from me." 

– Angie Anderson