“Giving Birth To My Daughter Changed The Way I Love My Foster Children.”

Children are a gift of God. Biological or not, children are truly angels that need love, care and can make our life magical with their innocence and craziness. (Thanks Victoria for sharing this story with us through our page).

Source: Reddit

My daughter was born 2 months ago. Throughout my entire pregnancy many people told me that the way I felt about my foster children would change when my birth child was born.

“It’s different with your own kid.”

“Your world will change when you hold your baby for the first time.”

“You don’t know love, until you’ve had a child.”

Although I wasn’t fostering while I was pregnant, I still had a close relationship with my foster children and their birth families. I’d fostered 10 children total. Two sibling groups of 3. One sibling group of 4. All ended up back with their birth families at the end of their stays with me.

But I’ve told my foster children a thousand times they will always be my “family by heart”. I’m always there for them. I’ll always love them. And that’s the argument I made to the many people who told me that things would change when my birth child arrived. People kept telling me I wouldn’t love my foster children as much once she was here. “Things would just be different.” And I continually argued that that was not the case.

Then, on February 10th 2018, my little girl arrived. And as I transitioned into the role of “birth parent”, I realized they were right… sort of. The people who told me that I’d love my foster kids differently after the arrival of my daughter, were right. Things were different. Everything was different.

From the moment my daughter was born she had someone there to love her. She was coddled, cuddled, loved, adored, and cherished. Her diaper is always changed right away. When she’s hungry, she’s fed immediately. If she’s cold, there’s a body ready to warm her up. And if she’s lonely, there’s a mother just a few steps away who is ready to hold her- for hours upon relentless hours. My daughter is loved- not just in my heart, but through my actions.

And the more I cared for my daughter, the more my heart ached for my foster children. I would sit at night, holding my newborn, and I would cry over the fact that my foster kids were not always loved in the way my birth daughter was (and always will be). I know that their cries were not always answered. They were not always fed. Their clothes were not always clean and they were not always shown unconditional love through the actions of the adults around them. And I hurt so terribly for them.

I wish with everything that I could go back in time and find a way to get to them and love them- the same way I love my birth daughter. I wish that they never would have had to have been through a day where they were not cared for.

I didn’t think it was possible, but giving birth to my daughter has made me love my foster children even more. It’s made my heart break for them further. It’s made me wish that I could do something -anything- to ensure they had as privileged of a life as my birth daughter will have. If someone told me that if I cut off my own leg, each of my foster kids would instantaneously be offered a good life- I’d grab a knife without hesitation.

But life isn’t fair, and their lives (in brutal honesty) are not fair- and will not be fair. And that’s what hurts most of all. I can’t give them the life I can give my daughter. I have no legal or biological right to do so. But I have the emotional right to care about them, and I sure as hell will- for the rest of their lives.

I want to be a snob, and go up to the people who told me “things would change” and tell them that I love my foster children even MORE now that my birth daughter has entered this world. But I don’t think they’d understand. There are so many people out there who simply believe that the only way to have a true connection with a child is to share their genetics. And perhaps, for them, that’s true. But for me- it isn’t. Not one bit.

“It’s different with your own kid.” – Foster children are my own children. Perhaps not in a traditional sense, but in my heart they were my own kids from the day they arrived on my doorstep- with their tattered clothes shoved into garbage bags. The memories I have with them are ones that bless my heart each and every day. They always cross my mind. And I hope they never stop crossing my mind- as they deserve to be there.

“Your world will change when you hold your baby for the first time.” – It did, in a lot of ways. I had never thought about the privilege of children who came from good homes before having my daughter. I’d always fostered and just kind of accepted the fact that sometimes life is sh*tty- and good kids get really sh*tty upbringings. It wasn’t until my daughter was born that I began to contemplate the fact that life doesn’t have to be sh*tty. And it’s not okay that any child has to start out life in a sh*tty situation. (I really don’t like cursing, but for the sake of getting my point across I think it’s fair. “Sh*t” is really the only accurate way to describe this all).

Having my daughter has made me even more empathetic. My world did change- in a way that has only reassured me that fostering is my calling. And, now, fostering to adopt is- because if I can give children a better life, I will.

“You don’t know love, until you’ve had a child.” – I knew love the second I fostered my first sibling group. They were my “first child(ren)”. And I knew love again and again- with my second sibling group, my third sibling group, and the birth of my daughter. But the love each of those kids has received from me is no more special or deep than the love any of the other’s are given. They are all loved equally. Each kid is loved differently- a unique love tailored to their needs and the absolutely wonderful relationship I hold with them. And although I love each child in a different way, they are all loved with the same hopeless tenacity.

I don’t know how to end this rant, other than simply saying that if you’ve ever wondered about fostering- do it. I could tell you 1,000 stories of ways my foster children impacted my life dramatically. They taught me so many lessons and gave me so many amazing memories. I’ve never laughed harder than I did with them. I’ve also never cried harder- and I’ve never been taught so much patience. It’s hard, but so is catering to my birth child. The stereotypes you’ve heard about foster kids aren’t true. Each of my children were brilliant- smart, funny, kind, HELPFUL individuals. Sure- they had some issues from time to time (show me a single kid who doesn’t throw tantrums, struggle with something in school, or have some wild emotions sometimes). But they were- they ARE- amazing.

Fostering will change your life, people. And we need more good foster parents out there. I did it single. I did it on a $30k a year salary. You don’t need to be straight, married, a homeowner, or rich to foster. I’m not religious. I had no “spiritual calling” to foster. I just love kids- so freaking much. And if you do, please please please consider it. And if you have no yearning to bring a non-biological child into your home and heart, don’t underestimate someone else’s ability to love a child they didn’t give birth to. I have had a birth child, and I have had foster children. And I know, for a fact, they can both be loved whole-heartedly.

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