A strong sense of humor is a necessary survival tool for foster parents. Here are three of many examples shared by my foster parent friends. The moral? Foster kids are different. Learn to appreciate their ingenuity.
"Finding some dried leafy material in the room of our two middle school foster sons, I took it to the police for testing. They reported that it was not a controlled substance. Later, we learned that they had been drying out our used tea bags and ‘appropriating’ our herbs and spices. Bagging them, they were labeling them as marijuana and selling them at school. Our friendly policeman laughed. ‘You can’t get them for dealing drugs, but I think you have a legitimate charge of ‘truth-in-advertising.’ We had a good laugh."
And again. "My best opening line was a welcome from a skinny 15-year-old foster son. Derek had arrived at around 4:30 and I first encountered him when I got home at 6:00. ‘Hey, butthead,’ he greeted me. ‘You’d better get upstairs and straighten out old gray hair (my wife.) She’s already on my case.’ I laughed, punched him lightly on the shoulder and replied: ‘Shut up, ya little shrimp.’ We got along well after that beginning. I had learned earlier not to let myself be provoked."
And last: "Sammy was a mentally delayed seven-year-old. One morning he ran into our bedroom to announce in great wonder: ‘Daddy, the sun came up.’ When I didn’t act that excited, he added: ‘It came up yesterday too.’ I thought to myself that he was a lovely child, though somewhat simple. Later on, as I was my way to work, the sun flashed at me through the windshield. Nature’s glorious miracle! I had taken the daily sunrise for granted. Until today. Who was the one truly delayed? I smiled. Thank you, Sammy."