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Have won an award All the Reasons Why

Story ID:1566
Written by:K D (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Family Memories
Location:Wichita KS United States
Year:2000
Person:my foster children
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All the Reasons Why

All the Reasons Why

A stranger once said to me, “I could never do it. I would love them too much to let them go.” At first it offended me. But, I’ve realized that she simply didn’t understand what being a foster parent is really about.

After giving up many Saturdays for training,
the home inspection that had my knees shaking,
the foster child who called me a b*%#h,
spending hours combing out head lice,
the phone call from school when the kindergartener was suspended,
explaining to the coach why my foster daughter came to practice wearing flip flops,
leaving the store with a screaming 6 year old who refused to walk,
weekly trips, transporting children to a visit and waiting in the car,
keeping my mouth shut as they believe a lying parent,
crying more than writing in my journal,
saying good-bye,
and not knowing if I would ever see them again.
Even I was wondering, "Why was I a foster parent?".


But there is so much more...

he learned how to wash his own clothes,
she heard someone tell her that she was pretty,
knew someone was keeping track of her memories in a scrapbook with photos,
wore glasses and could see the chalkboard at school,
realized that she might be able to have a different life than her mother’s,
had a camera and took his own pictures,
was the star in the school play and remembered every line,
painted his bedroom to make it more his own,
played catch with Angel Berroa (a Kansas City Royals player),
had “cool” stories to tell others to replace the scary ones,
played with the family dog who won’t bite or hurt her,
saw that marriage can be for a lifetime,
knew there would be money for the field trips and school supplies when needed,
her rotten teeth were cleaned and capped so the pain went away,
listened to bedtime stories every night,
finally had a coat that she could wear in the winter,
had a birthday party with decorations and gifts wrapped with bows and ribbon,
felt safe in bed at night,
chose to be baptized representing the change in her life,
got a fresh start at a new school with the chance for regular attendance,
toured a cave, rode roller coasters, and saw mountains
healed from her pain by talking about her past,
learned to play with other children without hitting, biting, and fighting,
knew someone would be home when she came home from school,
kept his hair cut in a current style,
wore the coolest Halloween costumes in town,
took horseback riding lessons with her own boots,
was on time and present for commitments because the family car ran reliably
learned some basic cooking skills,
didn’t have to worry about mean strangers coming in the house,
fell asleep at the drive-in with popcorn, candy and pop,
had family portraits taken including him,
wore sunscreen and bug spray when needed,
learned better sportsmanship by playing board games and cards with grown ups,
ran for Student Council and won,
lived in a house with light bulbs, running water, and no rodents,
attended church and Sunday school with dresses and shoes like everyone else,
colored Easter eggs and carved pumpkins,
hosted a neighborhood water balloon fight,
worked hard to get caught up in school even though she started out 3 years behind,
celebrated Christmas with a decorated tree and lights on the house,
played little league baseball, softball, basketball and football,
used a computer to research school projects and had someone to help with homework,
ate at nice restaurants,
planted a garden and watched it grow,
learned how to swim and even went camping,
visited the zoo, the circus, the county fair, and the rodeo,
knew that dinner would have cooked food with enough to go around,
celebrated going back home with a big party and so many people who will love and remember them,
and know that there will always be an ornament on the Duggan Christmas tree with his name on it.

I’ve thought about it. My response for the stranger would be, “How can you NOT do this for a child?”
It was worth every moment and all the heartache.