Ranch reflection – Foster families share a special kind of love

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Savannah Else – Special to Mustangs Ahead

else gets foster kiss 2020
The author gets a kiss from her foster brother on the day of his adoption.

(LAKEWOOD RANCH, FL) – Imagine having a different brother or sister every year. For me, this is a reality.

One evening, right after my 11th birthday, my parents told me that things were about to change. Three days later we received our first foster child.

Since my parents both work multiple jobs, I spend lot of time with these foster children, and let me tell you it is certainly a tough job. You get so attached to these kids, and then watch them get ripped away just to go back to their sometimes-abusive parents.

The hardest part about living with foster children is that at such a young age I had to sit and listen to every bad thing that ever happened to them.

My current adopted brother is 4-years-old (he came to us right before his second birthday) and before my family, he lived in five abusive foster homes. He was starved, left home by himself for hours on end and exposed to his drug addict birth mother.

IFoster” states that in 2017 there was just over 440,000 kids living in foster care and seven percent of those age out of the foster system, leaving them with no family, no income, and nowhere to live.

Currently, my family and I are in the process of adopting our second foster child. We are battling with his birth parents in hopes to get their rights terminated.

Shockingly, most foster parents don’t fight to give their foster kids forever homes.

The American Council on Adoptable Children (NACAC)” states that only 13% of foster children in 2017 were adopted. This is the highest it has ever been.

Foster children usually don’t stay with us that long, and most of the time we do not have room for them. It is heartbreaking when our caseworker calls, asking if we can take a family of four and we have to turn them down.

According to “Adoption.com” one foster parent said, “I have had one for as little as 12 hours and another for as long as 17 months.” However, you will really never know how long they will be in your home.

On average, we tend to receive very young children, who are generally male and either Hispanic or white. In the past, my family and I have only ever hosted kids who were about five or younger. 

Statista” claims that a majority of children in the foster system are white males who are around the age of eight. 

Living with foster children has definitely been tough, but I wouldn’t change it even if I could.

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