Motivation for Foster Parents

Submitted by PeterAKenny on August 1, 2017

Dear foster and adoptive parents,

My admiration for what you do is boundless and I am honored to be your attorney. You have tackled the toughest job I can imagine, offering your home to already damaged youngsters who may well take out their misdirected anger on you. You are likely to deal with issues like lying, stealing, and verbal abuse regularly. Frequently, you are exposed to allegations of inappropriate parenting by the birth family or the welfare department itself. Too often, your home is simply a way station on the way back to the birth family or on to another foster home.

The task is difficult and the challenges are many. The rewards are certainly not immediate. Yet you hang in there. Many of you have adopted your foster children, providing them with a permanent home, made these troubled children your own. The parent-child commitment is for life, the most binding relationship there is. So why do you persevere?

I think you have discovered the secret of a meaningful life. Focusing on happiness is a sure way to sabotage that state. Pick a flower because it is beautiful and you will have a short run of joy before it dies. Better to work at planting a garden. The lasting joy is more in the challenge and in the eventual outcome.

How deeply are you involved with other people? Especially with a child. That’s the important question to ask. As you and your child work together to meet new challenges, something strange and unexpected may happen. The challenges become adventures. The adventuring together becomes a firming bond. Things don’t make a person fulfilled and happy. People do.

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove...but the world may be different because I was important in the life of a child.” (Forest E Witcraft)


Peter A. Kenny, Attorney for Adoption and Foster Care

Executive Director of ACT (Adoption in Child Time)

Author: Attachment and Bonding in the Foster and Adopted Child

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