I spent 5 years in care. I’ve spent about twice that long, if not longer as an advocate and editor of America’s only monthly foster care publication. It would stand to reason that I’m also a foster parent. I am not.
My reasons are plenty, I haven’t shared any of them in the pages of this magazine. First, you should probably know the reasons I would. I have only two. Maxine and Richard Black, my foster parents. Carrying on their legacy of caring for kids would be the only catalyst to launch me into the world of foster parenting.
Let me be clear’ I think foster parents, the good ones are heroes who walk among us mere mortals. The time, money and care htat each foster parent incests in children they are sure will lelave at some point, is enouch for me to place them on the upper echelon of humans. But I don’t want to be one. Not even a little.
Here go my reasons, in no particular order:
I’m not a great parent.
I’m a great teammate to my parenting superstar wife. I have my moments, I chip in well. But I’m not the varsity team. That’s my wife.
I’m too lenient. Too accommodating. Not attentive enough. Consumed with my work. Only want to have fun with the kids, Not concerned with schooling. Too big picture to enjoy moments. In short, I parent how I was raised, that means minimal vacations with Dad.
If you were making a parent prototype; I’m not your blueprint.
I don’t like being told what to do.
This is a big one. I spent the first portion of my life under the control of my parents. The next portion under foster care and foster parent rule. Then it was employers. I’ve gained a terrible case of authoritative rebellion.
The home visits and constant supervision, though not an issue, not something I’d like to add to my life. I’m at the point in my life where my wife is the only person I’ll take orders from.
It’s hard, raising kids, and getting harder.
Bullying, the internet, suicides, labels, puberty; I could keep going, but you get it, raising kids is rough as hell and it isn’t getting any easier.
I barely got my own 3 kids through the quagmire that is modern life. I’m not sure I want to do it again.
My health is garbage.
I’ve got degenerative scoliosis. Torn up nerves. A double hernia that would love to make a return appearance. And my legs aren’t going to be walked on in about 10 years.
My mental health is garbage.
I’ve got manic depression and bouts of docile schizophrenia. How long has my brain got left of being “normal”? Why change fate that I’ll always be so docile?
When the mag is done with care, so am I.
I’ve devoted a huge chunk of my life to this. When I’m done, I’ll get out of the way. It’ll be time for new voices and new ideas. I’ll be happy to step aside when the time comes.