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It's in the Love, Not the Blood: I ain't no saint

I always find it interesting when I go to places or events to recruit foster and adoptive parents that it never fails that someone will say to me, “Oh you must be a really special person to be a foster/adoptive parent.  I could never foster a child; it would just hurt too much if I had to give them back”.  There are just a couple of things that bother me when people make that particular statement. 

First, let me make something perfectly clear:  I am not special.  I do not have a halo hidden under my stuck in the 80’s hair nor do I have wings magically attached to my back. I am not a saint but I am good at sinning.  Growing up, I probably gave my poor mother more gray hairs than she deserved and my poor daddy probably lost hair because he had to come in between a cat fight or two when my mom and I were the same room.  I am an ordinary, everyday person and although I appreciate that people think of me in that light, I really don’t deserve the accolades.

Secondly, when someone tells me that they could never give a child back because it would hurt too much, I want to say, “If you think that hurts, you ought to try being the kid who is being abused”.  This may sound callous, but becoming a foster parent isn’t about you; it’s about the child.  Children do not ask to be placed in foster care; they are in care through no fault of their own as victims of child abuse, neglect or abandonment.  The first goal of the cabinet is to reunify the child and their family.  Believe it or not, no matter how bad the abuse or neglect a child has experienced, the child wants to go home.  I always tell people in MAPP training classes, that when you have a child placed with you and they are fortunate enough to return home, it should hurt.  If it doesn’t hurt, then you are not doing it right.   

Sometimes returning home is just not possible.  Some children have been permanently removed from their homes because of the ongoing abuse and are waiting to be adopted.  95% of those adoptions are done by ordinary, everyday people who decided to become foster parents.  It doesn’t take someone special to be a foster parent just someone who is willing to love unconditionally and risk getting their heart broken more times than not.  (Halos are optional).


C. Denise Lambrianou is the Program Coordinator for Family Enrichment Center-Adoption Resource Program, which is funded in part by a grant from the Cabinet of Health and Family Services, Department of Protection and Permanency and Wendy’s of Bowling Green.  If you would like information about becoming a foster or adoptive family, or you would like to inquire about a featured child, please call (270) 781-6714 x 3 or (866) 842-9032 x 3.


About Khalid:
Khalid (11/94) is a handsome teen who describes himself as very likable, friendly, and outgoing. He enjoys listening to music, watching movies, and hanging out with friends. He enjoys sports, including, soccer, basketball, swimming, and especially football. He makes good grades and is determined to earn a football scholarship to college. Khalid stated he would like a family in which the parents are ‘patient and calm’. The family would need to be one who could help prepare Khalid for independence while giving him a sense of family and belonging. The family would also need to help Khalid maintain a sense of culture and heritage as well as supporting contact with his birth mother who is in another country. Khalid also has an older brother that he wishes to maintain contact. Are you the family that Khalid has been waiting for?


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