One of the most surprising outcomes of the pandemic and the resulting changes we’re experiencing is the rise in the number of families that are deciding to become foster families. At first glance it seems antithetical, until you start looking into the reasons why.
We’ve all seen the social media posts about Shakespeare writing King Lear during a recurrence of the bubonic plague in 1606. In fact, with so much time on his hands, Shakespeare wrote King Lear, Macbeth, and Antony and Cleopatra during that year. The idea that big things can happen when we have the chance to take a breath is a good lesson to learn. We may not all become Shakespeare, but we can still make a big difference.
There’s no such thing as a “typical” foster family. In fact, Aspiranet works with families regardless of their ethnic background, education level, sexual orientation, relationship status (single, married, partnered), whether you work full or part-time, or even if you own your own home.
There’s no such thing as a typical foster experience, either. Just like any family, your dynamics are unique. That’s what makes being a foster family so rewarding.
One of the most important roles you play as a foster family is to provide stability during unstable times. There’s never been a time when we’ve all understood how disruptive instability can be. You have the opportunity to use the experience you’ve gained to help a child, youth, or teenager see that no matter what they’ve weathered, the sun will always come out and there is always hope.
For many families, the decision to foster has been something they’ve put off for a long time. Life before the pandemic was busy. The past eight months have given us a new perspective. And in many ways, it’s given us new hope. Not just for an end to the quarantine or the ability to go out to a movie and dinner, but for a brighter future. These are the same dreams foster children have always had. Through no fault of their own, foster kids have had the rug pulled out from under them. All they’re trying to do is find their way forward. Just like all of us.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a foster family, now is the ideal time to take the next steps. No matter how you define home, there’s a foster child who needs to be a part of it.
To learn more about Aspiranet’s foster care and foster-adopt programs, visit aspiranet.org/foster-adopt or call 877.380.4376.