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Fostering is not for the money

Fostering is not for the money. People who foster have to be ready to deal with mental health issues, lying, difficulties attaching to their new foster family, attractions you don't want to them to have, and a hundred other complications they will bring into your own. As a former foster parent, I know this. Learning this helped me feel better about adopting him several years later, and he had become a part of my family several years earlier.

This isn't a blog about my family. If you're thinking of fostering or enjoy TV programs that successfully and provocatively explore systems of human relationships from the points of view of foster-kids who just want a safe place, street-entrenched kids who have already given up hope, police who are trying to uphold the law amidst caring for the well-being of children who haven't been taught appropriate boundaries, and teachers who are trying to get the brains of these kids working when their brains are focused on belonging and other basic survival needs. This wonderful show is called The Fosters, an unconventional family run by two head- and heart-strong lesbians ("moms"). With five children, including four foster children, The Fosters brings several identity and cultural issues into focus by characterizing racism, coming out as gay, drug use, in-home theft, teenage pregnancy, and lesbians who decide to have a baby. Though the Hollywood production-type is prevalent, The Fosters deeply examines the evolution of communication in relationships by illustrating predictable, defensible, and hurtful impacts of repeatedly concealing information that is best disclosed to those who care for us. While defensible by virtue of well-intentioned prevention of harm to those who care for us, lies of omission are ultimately uncovered with potentially greater harm due to the act of concealment and betrayal of trust. But life isn't even that simple. The show uses unexpected reversals and illustrations of  power imbalances between the rule of law and the heart's genuine  yearning for loving connection. Plies for authority and dominance centre around secrets, which form the difference between trust and betrayal. Because life is complex, it's no wonder we get confused sometimes. The Fosters isn't just any TV show, but one that illustrates variations of human relationships that provokes viewers to challenge our assumptions about how life "should" be and where we belong. If you're open to challenging the way you think and exploring what belonging means to you, I recommend The Fosters.