This is not a post about the foster care system. It is not a post about foster kids. It is a post about a friend of mine. Belle has been a foster mother for twelve years. She has one biological child, a girl MK's age. She has had many children in foster care. Every child that has had their biological parents rights terminated while part of Belle's family, has been adopted by her. That, to date, numbers eight kids. Some with RAD, some autistic, one medically fragile, one cognitively handicapped, the rest with the inevitable trauma issues. She currently has three foster children, two of them siblings whom Belle has had four times before. Each time the girls were returned to the biological parents. The girls, now fourteen and sixteen, were just removed again, and are back at Belle's. They have told the judge the aren't going back to their biological parents again.
Looking at Belle's family, you can't distinguish foster kids from adopted kids. They are all nicely dressed. They all have extracurricular activities they are involved in, including gymnastics, karate, acting, singing, and cheer-leading. All of their special occasions are celebrated. They all receive all the services they need. They are a family in every sense of the word. Not a rich family, but a family in which every member's needs are important and met.
Belle is an amazing person, an awesome mother, and my friend.