People have many ways to become parents. A man can get a woman pregnant through traditional means. Couples can pursue children through medical procedures. Couples also can adopt children or become foster parents. Regardless of how the event occurs, being a parent is a joyous occasion.
November is National Adoption Month. It is the perfect time to look into becoming a parent through adoption or foster care. Adoption presents blessings for parents and for the children. Some of these children would never have a home if it weren’t for adoption. Foster parents also benefit from having children come into their homes even if the foster period is a short one. Although adoption and foster care present challenges to parents, they also present gifts that should be treasured.
For example, consider Lily, a baby born to a woman with two toddlers, named Karen. She attended weekly Bible study and fellowship. After the baby was born, my wife and I offered to help Karen when she needed it. We offered to babysit Lily while Karen was in school. Soon, both baby and caregivers became attached. The love between the baby and caregivers was intense. We looked forward to having her in the home and was upset when she had to leave. When we visited Karen, Lily wanted to go home with us. I gave up playing golf so that I could spend time with Lily. From the moments spent with her, I was getting a Lily High, endorphins released while she was in my care. The time bonding with a child that was not my own but soon became mine in heart is the same process that happens when you adopt or offer foster care.
At first, you are unsure how to proceed. You do what you are supposed to do. You clothe them, feed them, bathe them and play with them. Then, they feel safe and bond with you. When you bond with adopted and foster kids, you begin to feel joy in your heart. Being with them gives you your own high.
Not All Coming Up Roses
While you should Enjoy Being a Parent, the task isn’t always easy, especially with adoptive or foster children. Adoptive children who spent time in orphanages could have attachment disorder, a condition where they are unable to bond with their parents. Counseling, therapy and exercises are recommended to help parents get through this difficult transition. Foster children might be afraid to love. They might be afraid to be abandoned again, or they might be angry at their situation. Then, they would take that anger out on their foster parents.
All children test their parents, but some will test them as much as possible. Adoptive children might fight with their parents by using the “You’re not my real parents” card. This hits parents right where the missile is targeted at their hearts. They have to remember that the children are trying to manipulate their parents into giving them what they want. Foster children use their anger or fear as a way to cause problems for their parents. While these are difficult times for parents, they should find the joy they can and contemplate on that joy.
To discover ways to enjoy being a parent whether you adopt, accept foster kids or have biological children, you can get ideas from How to Enjoy Being a Parent. I talk about discipline, how to avoid arguments with children and many more challenges facing parents.