There is a saying that “Behind every successful man is a strong, wise and hardworking woman.” I know in my life personally, that is true. As a foster and adoptive parent, I have my own saying, “Behind every successful foster and adoptive family is an invisible army.”
Foster care is hard and that’s just the plain truth. It requires your mind, body and soul and it can be draining. Your foster care journey is nothing short of a marathon. I remember when our first kiddo came into our home, there was this anticipation of what was coming and then like the starter gun at the beginning of a race…**BANG** we were off. Doctor’s appointments, court, workers in and out of our home, long nights with a toddler who couldn’t be soothed…the list could go on. As if everyday life wasn’t enough, we were on this journey.
I know a lot of foster families that might feel the same, but I bet if you ask them how they do it, they will talk about their support, their invisible army. It’s the invisible army that brings dinner by when you don’t have the energy. They are the ones who show up to watch your kids so that you can have a date night or time to yourself to decompress. They are the ones who are there to just listen and they are the ones who support you throughout your journey.
There is a saying that, “The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you.” Let that sink in for a second. “The task ahead of you is never as great as the power behind you”, your invisible army.
Not everyone is ready to jump into foster care and the numbers show it. Right now in Arizona, conservatively, there are over 19,000 kids in state care and that number might be as high as 21,000. We are talking crisis levels that we have never seen before and while we definitely need more foster and adoptive families who will step up and take these kids into their homes, we also need more “troops” that can play a supporting role. Maybe that’s you.
Are you willing to enlist in the Invisible Army? Will you be the one to bring a meal or share a coffee? Are you willing to hold a screaming baby or sit with a crying kid so that a foster mom or dad can simply go and take a quiet shower? Let me tell you, as a foster dad, you make a world of difference and you make our lives a little more normal. Eventually we get our race legs going and while the marathon is still tiring and trying, we figure out how to make it all work day in and day out, but our need for people, the power behind us, our invisible army never goes away.
If you have been part of that invisible army in my life or in the life of another foster mom or dad, Thank You, we appreciate it more than you could imagine.