The other day, I got my first hate comment on a post. Basically, the commenter wanted to know why I didn’t treat H like “a biological kid”.
So, I’m going to address her comment and I’m going to say something that may be unpopular.
I don’t treat H like my son because he’s not my son.
Yes. I said it.
I care about H. I love him. Every day I fight for him. I want him to be happy. I want him to be healthy. This is why I cook almost every night rather than drive through McDonald’s on the way home. Fast food would be much easier, and a much faster cleanup, for sure.
It’s also why my husband and I tag team taking off work to make sure he gets to speech classes and doctors appointments and dentist appointments and the like. It’s why I spend way too much at Target because I cannot resist his smile when he sees he got a new dinosaur t-shirt that says 1,2,3 ROAR! on it.
But he’s not my son.
The Difference Between Bio Kids & Foster Kids
If H was my biological kid, he wouldn’t have 8 cavities. If H was my biological kid, he wouldn’t engage in self-harm. If H was my biological kid, he would have insurance that covered his appointments in the city where he lived.
You can love a foster kid as much as your biological kid, but you don’t and often can’t treat them the same. In some areas you may do a whole lot more, and in others you might do a whole lot less.
Last Monday, the case manager picked H up and drove him 3 hours away to a city that took his dental insurance. He stayed overnight with a foster parent in that city so he could get his rotten teeth taken care of on Tuesday morning. He was driven back to Tallahassee that afternoon and my husband left work early to pick him up and I took off work on Wednesday morning since he needed to be at home to fully recover from the anesthesia. (By the way, his bio mom was at the surgery center with him).
This is not ideal. It’s not what I would do for my biological child.
If it was my biological child, I would have taken off of work on Monday, driven to the city where the surgery was, rented a hotel nearby so I could be at the facility the next morning at 6:00 am, and be there when my kid woke up from surgery. Then I would drive them back home.
The Eternal Struggle All Parents Face
Some may say I should do that for H. I should do more. But as a parent, whether biological or a foster parent, you can always do more:
- Every working mom should quit their job to spend more time at home raising their kids.
- Every stay-at-home mom should get a job to teach empowerment to their little girls.
- You should postpone buying a new house to enroll your kids in private school so they get the best education.
- You should enroll your kids in public school so they know how to work with people in the real world.
As a parent, you always struggle with what more you can do for your kids (like cheating on tests to get them into Ivy League schools).
But there’s another perspective here. I could let H run around in ratty clothes. I could have thrown my hands in the air and said “they’re only baby teeth” and not brought him to the dentist at all. I could have taken a trip to Hawaii (sorry Sophie, maybe next year) instead of spending the money on baby gates and pool fences and fire extinguishers, all needed in order to get licensed as a foster parent.
No, I’m not H’s mom. He has a mom. And I don’t do everything a biological mom does. But in other areas, I also do a lot more. And that’s enough.