In her own words: Being a foster sister
Editor’s note: Ninth-grade confirmation students are sharing their faith stories on Sunday mornings. The story below is from Claire Mask, a student at Pleasant Valley High School.
I decided to write my faith story on being a foster sister. In 2015, my family became a foster family. I wasn’t entirely sure of what I was getting into, but I had agreed to share my room with any little girls we decided to foster. My room initially was set up with two twin beds for when I had sleepovers with friends, making it the perfect room to share with a foster child.
As a foster sister, I had to share my room, toys, and even parents. It was a lot of change but I was happy to help out. My parents had discussed this new adventure with me and my siblings before it began. They told us that we would be helping children whose parents were unable to care for them. Of course the details of foster care and the reasons behind why a child was removed from his or her home are not quite child-friendly information. It wasn’t until I was much older that I understood the realities of drugs, drinking, abuse and neglect.
After taking the necessary courses and going through the process of getting licensed, my mom and dad became foster parents. Shortly after, my mom received a call to take in a placement. She sent out a text to our family and asked if we were willing and ready to take in a 3-year-old girl. We all agreed, and a couple of hours later my mom and I drove down to the Department of Human Services to pick her up.
It was a bit odd walking into the building and seeing this little girl sitting in a room waiting to be picked up by complete strangers. I remember feeling sad for her and thought she must be so confused and scared. Moments later, my mom carried her out of the building and we took her home. During the car ride, she seemed okay, almost excited to be with us and she loved being in the car. I thought this had seemed very off being that we had just met.
Our next four months with this little girl was life changing for my entire family. What I learned was compassion, patience, and understanding that not every child is as fortunate as me to have parents who provide the basics: food, clothing, and a safe and secure place to live.
What I’d learned for myself is to have faith in God that he’d help me get through the first few days, and even weeks of adjusting to a new person in the house and in my room, and to have the understanding that people make mistakes. There were times when I would be so frustrated at her mom that she thought it was okay to not have a care for this little girl. It is important to be kind, compassionate, and to help others.
I now have a lifetime of memories to look back on, mostly good, of children in and out of our home. I will always have faith that God will guide me to treat others with respect and to not judge them. You never know what others are struggling with, but it is important to be understanding and kind. It is just the right thing to do.
Being a foster sister has had a huge impact on my life, and even though we haven’t always had the easiest placements, I have grown as a person and in my relationship with God.