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21 Foster Parenting Truths As Seen By a Veteran Foster Parent
from Keith Thompson
My wife and I have been doing foster care for 17 years. Along the way,
we’ve learned a few things that seem to be givens when
working for our children.
1. Love may not be enough, but when you add unlimited patience and a
ense of humor, you can usually get through.
2. Things go best when you go by the book – but you have to be using
the right book!
3. Having a spirit of contention accomplishes nothing – especially
when you are trying to work with the “system”.
4. You can’t help every child, but you can still cry for them.
5. You can’t help every child, but you can still pray for them.
6. Some people know how to fix a broken child, and some people know
how to fix a broken system – very few people have the time
and talent fix both!
7. You can feel close to God when changing a diaper.
8. Foster Care is the worst paying job in the world.
9. Foster Care is the best paying job in the world.
10. Enjoy the good days when they come – on the bad days, find someone
to serve.
11. Kids who’ve had it rough in life need good, strong parenting.
12. Kids who’ve had it rough in life need someone to serve them.
13. Knowing when to be a parent, and when to be a servant brings the
greatest joy and success.
This is the one I’m most partial to:
14. Abused kids are used to being yelled at – try using funny voices
instead!
15. Never let a child go to bed without a “tuck-in”.
16. A 10 year old who’s never been allowed to be a 10 year old, will
not become a 10 year old upon arrival in your home – pick your
battles and conquer one behavior at a time.
17. ALWAYS expect that the children will not resemble their “resumes”.
18. Children are more important than furniture.
19. Work as if everything depends on you – Pray as if everything
depends on the Lord!
20. The greatest lesson the Lord has ever taught me about fostering
children came during a church meeting one Sunday. Our newly
arrived, nine year old foster son came in during the meeting and asked
me to tie his shoes. My first thought was to scold him for not
being able to tie the shoes himself. My next thought was to kneel down
and tie them for him. My final thought was – I am kneeling at the
feet of the Savior!
21. And since I have still not learned everything, my most recent
lesson comes from someone I only recently met. When we ask
ourselves why a child had to be born to such an abusive parent,
remember that the birth of a child is the keeping of a promise made
in heaven.

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