May 05, 2017
You think so?
Fostering as a single parent wasn’t a big deal for me. I grew up in a single parent home. Both my mother and my grandmother were single parents, so I knew it could be done.
You can do this too
But that’s not what encouraged me to foster. I had a friend who was fostering, and she brought me along to some events. She’d say, “You have the room in your house. You can do this too.” Seeing her foster, and seeing how badly children need loving homes, is what convinced me.
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That’s not to say I didn’t have reservations. There I was, a single woman with a great job and no responsibility but for myself. It was tough to go from that to being available 24/7 for children in my care. I’m a very private person, and my life became an open book. I quickly realized I no longer had the space or freedom to make decisions only for myself. I now had caseworkers, parents, and children to consider. After a few months, I decided to stop fostering because it disrupted my life.
But in time, I changed my thought process. I realized my decision to foster was bigger than my need for privacy; it was about caring for children. When I started up again, I approached it differently. I determined I would take a break every few months so I wouldn’t burn out.
Find a great agency
Bethany is the reason I continue to foster. My biggest advice to other single people is to find a great agency; that’s so important. The agency I initially fostered with left me tired and without any support. Bethany showed me what it meant to have a good foundation. With their support, I’ve had up to six children in my home at a given time.
It doesn’t require a two-parent household to take care of a child in need. My family is supportive, and my mom, my uncle, and my brother also build into these children’s lives. I also want people to know that race doesn’t matter either. I’m an African American woman raising two Caucasian teen boys. Color has absolutely nothing to do with giving a child a great home.
Having never been a patient person, I used to pray that God would make me more patient. He sure answered that prayer by putting me in a situation where I’ve been forced to learn this discipline. There are many days I don’t think I’ll make it another minute, but then I’m grateful that I did take that minute to help a child who has had a lot of negativity in their life.
It's satisfying when a child leaves my home stronger than when they came.
- Myth: "I can't foster. I'll get too attached."
- Myth: "I can't foster. I'm too old."
- Myth: "I can't foster. I've never parented before."
- How Do I Get Started? Q&A for first-time foster parents
- Can I Do Foster Care as a Working Parent?