Foster Friday: My son enters a writing competition: What makes you different?

The foster mom and clinical psychologist who writes Foster Parenting Adventures shares this wonderful post:

Z, my 11-year-old son, was encouraged by his teacher to enter an essay writing competition called, “Don’t Hide it, Flaunt it!”  The instructions were, “Write an essay describing that which makes you different and how your difference has affected your life.”  This was his submission:

Don’t Hide It, Flaunt It
By Z

Everyone has something that makes them different, and the differences affect their lives in different ways. I am in 5th grade, and until 2010, we had a typical family. I had a big brother named J, my mom, and my dad.  I was the youngest child. In 2010 I became a foster brother. Now we no longer were a regular family.  We were unique and different.

Foster care is when parents of a child can’t take care of them, so the child gets either temporarily placed with a family or adopted into a new family.  My parents have to have a special license to take care of the children in foster care.

In the hot summer of 2010 my mom complained on the phone to (the System). My mom complained that we hadn’t had any children placed with us in more then a year. Five minutes after my mom’s call they called back with unexpected news.

There was a 17-month-old baby who needed a home. That baby’s name was CD. Even though we weren’t looking for a baby to take care of, we said yes anyway, because we had just complained. How could we say no?

It was 8:00 at night when the foster care workers brought her to our house. That night I waited outside of my front door for a long time and gave her a stuffed animal sheep when she finally arrived. She was a little scared of my big brother and my dad at first, though after a while she got used to us.  My dad, my mom, my big brother and I had to do last minute things like run out to get a crib at 9:00 pm, and picked up packages of diapers. When she came, she had nothing.  She only had what she was wearing, not even a single extra diaper.

Months and months went by and she continued to live with us and it didn’t look like she was going to go home to her biological mother. I eventually started to call her my sister, not foster-sister.

I am the only kid at my school that is part of a foster family so I get asked many questions about my sister. One of them is, “Do you love your brother any more then you love CD?” I find this question quite ridiculous because family is family, and you love all family. Another frequently asked question is, “How does her mom feel?”  I explain that her mom knows that she can’t take care of CD anymore and she wants my family to adopt her.

I am excited because we are supposed to adopt CD some time during the late spring or summer of this year.  Being a foster brother has been a great experience.  I am proud of the way it makes me different.

Comments

  1. What a touching story by Z. I remember, too, becoming a foster sister at 10 and the enormous love I had for my little sister A who was a newborn. She was reunited with her biological family a year later. While that broke my heart then, it opened our home to more children to love. I think that Z is learning a wonderful lesson about love that he will retain throughout his life.

  2. What a great story for a Friday. Family is family!

  3. Thanks so much for posting my son’s essay. He is glad it was so well received!
    -TikunOlam

  4. I love this. Sharing stories from every side of the equation is so important one; and the stories of children are often forgotten. Thank you Z – and all the grown ups who let this happen. Mx

  5. This is going to be my son’s experience as he grows up. So lovely to read such an encouraging viewpoint from a foster brother 🙂

  6. What a gorgeous story and it is always brilliant to get a child’s take on these situations. Thanks for Sharing on the Weekly Adoption Shout Out.

  7. Amen — sniff sniff, family IS indeed family. What a wise young man!!! Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a great topic to have kids write about and what a lovely and well written story. Way to go Z!

  9. vishalbheeroo says:

    It’s commendable on the part of the family to adopt a child and give the love in equal package. Respect.
    Vishal
    http://www.vishalbheeroo.wordpress.com

    • Tikun Olam says:

      Vishal, our family loves our soon to be forever daughter because we do. It wasn’t a choice that we made, love just happened just as it did when we brought biological children into the world. With the love that we already had, when our daughter turned out to need a forever home, adoption became a no brainer. It was on our mind as soon as she became part of our family as a toddler in foster care almost 3 years ago.

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