In 2010 I started babysitting for four children. Their mother is a social worker and two of the children are adopted from the foster system.
I have watched many foster children since 2010. I really enjoy giving the children a little extra love and attention while giving foster families (and any family really) a moment to rest and take a break without the kids around. The family I babysit for the most has a precious baby on oxygen and feeding tubes who has stolen my heart. He was born at 27 weeks which causes him to need extra care. He frequents our local children’s hospital and I am the one who stays in the hospital with him overnight so that his mom can take care of her other four children. I absolutely love it. We even joke and call it our apartment. I couldn’t imagine life without this kid.
Since I’m attached to these kids and consider myself more than just a babysitter, my biggest fear is that a child who I have become attached to will be moved while I am out of town.
While I was on the Disney College Program, this family was planning a Disney trip that included a foster child whom I actually was never going to leave the home. We were in the planning stages when the mom got a phone call saying the child would be moving to a home so they could be with siblings…And I have never seen that child again.
I think they are doing well in their forever home but it was still unexpected and hard. I always fear that will happen again, which can cause me to want to keep my distance from a child…But I know that will never happen because I love them all so much.
Foster care has taught me that everyone needs a family but often times people think they don’t have enough room or love to give. As long as there is love and everyone’s needs are being met, there is always room. Humanity is broken… But there is hope.
Foster families bring hope. They are people who are give up their own desires so that vulnerable children can receive what they need. Foster families are a really beautiful example of the good in humanity. Some really bad things happen to children, but there are some really wonderful people out there willing to rescue them.
Having a home shouldn’t be a privilege and not having a home shouldn’t be a punishment. There are so many kids in foster care (400,000+). There are especially a lot of older children and those with special needs. Children should never feel like they are disposable just because something happened that was out of their control.
(Photos above credited to www.whitrunyon.com. Due to child protection laws, the above photos are not of the children Kailee babysits.)