I love people, all things in nature, animals, helping others and a challenge. I always wanted to have a large family. Foster parenting brought that large family along with many challenges.
I had never heard of apnea monitors, spica casts or GT buttons. I had never used heart monitors, updraft machines, catheters and lots of other medical supplies I would get familiar with and use. I did not know about failure to thrive babies, Dandy Walker Syndrome, Cytomegalovirus Infection (CMV), or Microcephaly among other disorders and diseases that I quickly had to learn about. I had never seen anyone have a seizure, see a baby born addicted to drugs nor had I ever known anyone with Spina Bifida, HIV or AIDS until we became foster parents. I learned how to care for children with many disorders, diseases and injuries. There were wonderful nurses and doctors who took the time to train me to do what needed to be done to care for all the children. Bless them all!
I knew very little about mental illness and I knew nothing of what it is like living with loved ones who suffer from this illness. But I began to learn quickly after some of the children presented with mental illness. One cannot imagine what it is like to learn that your child or teen has mental illness or what it is like living with mental illness. There are no words that can be said to convey to others so they can fully grasp and understand the challenges and struggles that some people with mental illness and their families go through on a daily basis.
Raising children with health problems, mental illness and genes of their birth ancestors brought humongous challenges to us but like I said I love a challenge…we made it just fine and now the children are all grown and moving on with their lives. I love each of them very much and I am very proud of the wonderful adults that they have become and all of their accomplishments.
Would I adopt children again, raise step-children again, foster parent again if I had it to do over, you bet I would. Being a wife and mother is the best and most fulfilling accomplishment of my whole life. We struggled some now and then along the way but the wonderful times by far out weigh those struggling times. I learned so much about life, love, patients and tenacity while caring for all those wonderful children. We are so blessed to have been allowed to share our home with each of them.