By Sometimes Mom
Follow her on Instagram @sometimes_mom
The holiday season is often thought of as a time of giving which means many people are donating toys to children and families in need. Some of these toys may go to children in foster care. If you have donated Christmas presents to children in foster care, thank you! Foster kids should be able to experience the magic of Christmas morning just like anyone other child, but there are things that foster children need much more than toys and that’s FOSTER PARENTS!
If the image of a child having no gifts to open on Christmas conjures up some emotion inside you (sadness, anger, etc.) then, imagine a child having to grow up without safe, loving, attached parents or foster parents. If that image stirs up an even stronger emotion, the good news is, there is something you can do!
By far, the most frequent comment I receive as a foster parent is, “I couldn’t do that, I would get too attached”. But the gift of attachment is the ultimate selfless, important, and beautiful gift you could ever give to a child. Children need this attachment on Christmas and every other day of the year. You would be surprised at just how easy of a gift it is to give. Also, free!
Of course, there are many reasons why you may not be able to foster, but if the only one that comes to mind is that you would get “too attached”, I implore you to give it a little more thought. If foster care is truly not right for you, there are other ways you can support foster children throughout the year. There are many organizations that serve children in foster care and the gift of time and money are crucial to their mission. If you’re local to Massachusetts, Wonderfund is a great organization that provides fun and enriching opportunities for children in foster care and their families year-round. You can also donate new or gently used clothes and supplies to a local foster closet, (AOK Community Closet is a brand new one in Agawam, Massachusetts), become a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) or just be a caring, supportive person in the life of a foster youth.
As we look forward to a new year, and the holiday spirit begins to ware off, please don’t forget about those who could not spend Christmas with their families. Let’s give our children in foster care more than toys this year, let’s give them experiences, love, attachment, advocates, resources, and representation. If you want more information on how to become a foster parent, visit Become a Foster Parent.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!