I was joking with another foster mom the other day about how much more work our kids are than bio kids. Our kids are not average. They have issues and baggage. They demand more than others their age and have quirks that don’t make sense until you get eye level with them to see how it helped them survive. When it comes to what they require, what it takes to earn their trust and how they process things, foster kids are anything but average. I remember right after Little Miss came to live with us. I bought her a high chair for her dolls and was all excited because I was sure she’d love it. Instead she cried. My little 2 year old cried because she didn’t have any food to give her baby doll. Average kids, who have never been hungry, don’t think about things like that.
But here’s the thing… my kids are normal. Little Miss begs tries to negotiate for more stories at bedtime every night just like every other 2 year old. She is convinced that she is a real princess and twirls around the dining room in her sparkly dresses. Little Man gets into everything he can just like every other 11 month old. He wiggles during diaper changes and lays his head on my chest when he’s sleepy. I kiss their boo boos and pull stickers off the walls. They run away in WalMart but come running up with sweet hugs and kisses. We play hours of peek-a-boo with Little Man and cheered when Little Miss overcame her fear of bounce houses.
Out of everything that I’ve learned during this journey it has been how absolutely normal foster kids are. They are regular kids with scars from selfish adults who didn’t treat them right. Like many other people, I was scared of foster kids. Especially the older ones just seemed too dangerous to have around my family. True, some of them have worse issues than others but really these are just regular kids that got a rough start. Not average… just normal kids.