A common question among foster parents is how this big change will affect their biological children. Many worry about them feeling underappreciated, or jealous of the new children. Others worry about the heaviness and potential disfunction they could be bringing into their homes. What is not considered, however, are the benefits and positive changes foster siblings can evoke in your children that they may not experience otherwise.
As parents of children, it’s extremely natural to be protective of your kids. You want to provide them what’s absolutely best for them and protect them from any possible dangers and the negativity of the world. But it seems that nowadays, especially in the Christian community, we focus a little too much on sheltering our kids. When fostering, you may feel forced to introduce them to “grown-up” concepts such as drug abuse, alcoholism or abandonment.
However, this introduction is important. By seeing these broken problems firsthand, they also get to experience God’s grace and learn compassion and empathy for them. While typically kids may feel scared or uncomfortable around these topics, children who live with foster siblings will have a better understanding and instead develop a sense of duty to help. After all, parents are the best example for their children.
Your children will one day be the adults of a future generation. Which generation will make the change and start accepting foster care as the norm? When will the majority step up and learn to not only have compassion for the world’s biggest problems but to actively do something about it? When will a change begin to take place? By fostering now, with your biological children in your home, you’re directly and dramatically impacting their world view. With this instilled in them, think of all the positive impacts they can make, even if just by fostering children in need when they come of age.
When you foster, you’re giving those kids the gift of a home and a family. But you’re also giving your kids the gift of a widened worldview and understanding they wouldn’t otherwise have going about their day to day kid-friendly lives.
Understand when you dive into the world of foster care, your life is bound to change. Your family dynamic will change. Some things will be harder, and there will be difficult times. But overall, so much goodness, light, grace, and a deep love will immerse your life for the better.