My mom used to be a foster parent. At first I did notunderstand why she took in children because she has four already and my dadreally did not want to share our home with others, but now I understand. I didnot always get along with the kids who came to stay with us, but I learned toaccept them.
My mom feels sad for kids who are abused or neglected. Shedoes not like to see children go through the pain of not having anything to eator clean clothes. She feels that everyone needs a safe place because the worldcan be scary. She wants us to help her make these kids feel at home until theirparents get help for their own problems.
Our whole family has learned howto accept people for who they are. We try to understand how they ended up intheir situation and not put anyone down. My mom feels that being loved andaccepted is the most important thing in the world, even more important thanhaving a lot of money. She thinks love gives you the confidence to try newthings. She knows what it's like to be abused, and she wants kids to realize thatabuse is not their fault.
I do not know how my mom can take in others andcare for them, but she does. Some of "our kids" go back to theirparents, some go to group homes because they could not accept help and some stayfor a while because their parents don't want them. Some have disabilities becausetheir mothers took drugs while pregnant. Right now we have a teenager living withus because he had no place else to turn.
Everyone knows they can comehere when they need a place. My mom has taught our family how important it is tocare for people.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.