what i want you to know: foster parenting 17 children

What I Want You to Know is a series of reader submissions. It is an attempt to allow people to tell their personal stories, in the hopes of bringing greater compassion to the unique issues each of us face. If you would like to submit a story to this series, click here. Today’s guest posts is by anonymous reader.


I am a foster/adoptive mom to 17 children. One bio, 14 adopted and two foster. No I did not intend to adopt this many children. No I dont think I have enough. I'm not sure when I will stop. Yes it is crazy around our house. No I'm not a saint and no my children are not lucky to have me. There is nothing lucky about being born to a Mom and Dad that for one reason or another does not care for you or abuses you so much that you can never go back home.

Yes my children are different than others. They don't sleep all night, they have nightmares that keep me and them up at night. Some of them will hug strangers and try to sit on their laps, others will not hug anyone and cant stand to be touched. Some sleep in their clothes and shoes because they have had to make quick get-aways.  Many come to us from mental health facilities. No that does not scare me or make me uncomfortable. Yes they are angry. Angry at their parents angry at CPS, angry at me, and that's ok.

They have been moved from home to home and facility to facility. Different schools and different towns. What I love most about these children? They are survivors and they are passionate about what they care about. 

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