In honor of Father’s Day, Home Parent Dad in The Atherton Home, Brian Wallace, shares the joys and heartaches of being a foster dad:
Being a foster dad is very tough and rewarding all in one. I spend countless hours working alongside children, not to raise them under my roof, but rather to prepare them to move on. I see them fall down and help pick them back up…again and again. That cycle is hard for any parent. I love to rejoice in their success when they have a victory, even the small, silent victories.
To be honest, there are days that I am not sure I can go on, either from physical or mental exhaustion. During those moments, God reminds me that it’s not in my strength, but His!
I recently had to say goodbye to two children who moved on to their new forever family after being in our home for two years. I invested thousands of hours with those children, especially the boy. He started out in my house very angry, to the point of violence sometimes. Many victories, large and small, and now after investing those two years, they’re ready to move on. As they departed for the new home they deserved, it was painful for us, but also full of joy in their success and seeing a new family started. Children’s stories don’t always end as happy, but they are ALL worth it.
For instance, in May we were privileged to attend the high school graduation of one of our former kids. She was only in our home for a few months, but we’ve stayed in touch since she left Coyote Hill. It’s a great joy to see her doing so well and to know that her story is far from done, and she continues to invite us to be a part of it.
I say all this to to remind others, including myself, that these children are more than “just foster kids,” here for a season and then gone from our lives. They are God’s gift for us to help heal, mold and shape while their families are being put back together. I am just a small part of that process, but I am so honored to be that part.