It's easy to forget those in need when we get caught up with life and sometimes it's when we're in need ourselves that we tend to pay attention. This is my case, perhaps yours too. To be honest, it really has never crossed my mind nor had I met anyone in my life someone that was adoptive nor a foster child--well, not until my adulthood.
It was until now in my own struggle to conceive that the thought of possibly adopting has been playing in my head, but not without the struggle of combating stereotypes and stigmas that surround adoption and fostering. One main one is the pressure of producing my own children and not being able to do it--society marks me as defective, weak and not a full woman.
When the opportunity came up last week of attending a panel discussion on Adoption and Fostering at Mubarakville, I decided to attend and listen to actual mothers who have adopted and fostered a child(ren) and this is what I learned.
There's a Difference Between Adoption and Fostering
Personally, I didn't know there was a difference. Adoption is a life commitment--you take a child as your own. Fostering is opening ones home for a temporary period for a child in crisis. Fostering a child can also mean being a second family. This means that they come over for short periods of time, holidays and one is there for all their other needs. Some foster relationships between guardians and child can and will go on to last a lifetime.
Requirements to Adopt and Foster Are Minimal
One does not have to be wealthy to adopt and/or foster a child. According to one of the experts and case worker, low to middle class citizens are the ones doing the most adoption and fostering. She also mentioned that one takes a few prep classes and interested fostering parents get a home visit to make sure certain safety measures are met. Also, large companies assist adoptive and fostering parents financially when taking this journey--do check with human resources department to learn how and if your company offers assistance.
The first trauma is the separtion of a child from its family, according to the case worker. Children that come into adoption and foster care are traumatized and in pain but love will heal. One of the mothers in the panel mentioned that it's a process and it takes time to help them heal and patience is key.
Telling a Child She/He is Adoptive
One of the adoptive mothers who also holds support groups for other adoptive mothers stated two very important points: 1. Not telling a child about their adoption can be very damaging. 2. Every child is different and one has to keep in mind that it's their journey. Some of the mothers mentioned they let their children know by reading books about their adoption.
It's Not For Everyone
Adopting and Fostering requires a mental preparation, patience and know that one has to be in the mindset to service someone. As one of the mothers in the panel said, it's not about loving equally, it's about servicing and giving a child her/his rights.
Founder of THE DEMUREIST, an American, Latina, Small Business Consultant, a style and creative enthusiast, who enjoys diversity in cultures, eatery, religions, arts and style and whose shaping her world on her terms. A women activist fighting against machismo/male chauvinism and in her 4th year journey of clean beauty, eating and living.