We Foster, But Not Because We Watch This Is Us

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My wife and I foster. We foster kids. I feel it necessary to make the distinction between kids and animals because it seems that in society today the latter would be assumed more so than the former.

We don’t broadcast that we foster, outside of this post I suppose. No, the topic is typically covered naturally. At parties and soiree’s the topic of children comes up shortly after the stranger asks what you do for work. Having to address the topic of children we say we have a foster son.

We’ll get two statements and one question after we drop that fact.

  • Statement 1: We’re told how brave we are. We work with kids, not lions.
  • Statement 2: The stranger recuses themselves saying, “I could never do what you do, it would just be so hard to give them back.”—as if the children are adoption dogs, they have names and their not Barksly, Gimble, or Snickers.
  • Question: Do you watch, “This Is Us?”

This question is posed as if all parents who arrive at adoption or foster parenting must have come to it honestly through the great human story of the Pearsons. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great show and we love that it raises awareness of what is truly a great need, child welfare.

We’re honest red blooded Americans so of course we watch This Is Us, just not during it’s regularly scheduled airing. We get to it 10 shows into the season or 2 episodes out from the season finale and we love it. How postively 21st century nuclear the mixed family of the Pearson’s are, it’s exactly what we wanted when we went to the the pound to pick out our child.

I joke.

We may remind people of the Pearsons, we’re definitely a handsome group. But, for us, I wouldn’t say our challenges are as dramatic, no dependencies, no complexes and I, the dad, am still here and will remain for awhile, God willing. But we can’t give the Pearsons credit for why we do what we do.

This will be shocking for a lot of people because I think many viewers forget that people have been fostering for years. It didn’t just come into popularity after the show aired. It’s not as if NBC came up with the idea of foster and adoption as a means to meet child welfare, they just raised awareness.

And here’s a secret, many foster and adoption families don’t have time to watch it. And take a deep breath because this will knock the air out of you. There are households out there who don’t even know This Is Us exists.


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