I recently received a request from the PR company that works with MSF to share a video about fostering, so as to spread the word. I watched one of the two videos they sent me, and cried. It was just so painful to imagine being that child.
Then a few days later, one of the pastors in my church sent us another video about fostering, this time starring another pastor and his son, whom we know well. This video was less emotional, but carried a strong sense of hope.
Personally, I think foster care is a very difficult yet beautiful journey. To me, it is much harder than adoption, because you know that the child will leave you at some point. Opening one’s heart knowing that a gap looms ahead – that’s really difficult.
So I really admire foster parents. Who open their hearts and their homes to children in need, children who can be difficult, because they have gone through so much. I came across and now follow a few foster mums on Instagram – Rebekah who moved to South America from the US and fosters children alongside her own little ones, Laura who runs an Etsy shop of handmades to support her fostering, as well as April who has an amazing story that I had previously blogged about here.
I do think it’s important to broaden awareness and acceptance of foster care. I’ve heard from friends that in Singapore, foster parents get a lot of support from the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) so it’s not a lonely journey. There are training courses, and Foster Care Officers who regularly keep in touch with foster families.
At present, about 350 foster children are currently cared for by foster families, who provide shelter, stability and love to children at risk. We may not realise it, but beneath the veneer of a prosperous Singapore, masked behind our per capita GNP figures, there are children whose parents or guardians are unable to care for them.
So we salute Singaporeans who have stepped up to the plate, to stand in the gap and provide a stable, loving environment for a time, so that our children (for the children of Singapore are ours) have a better chance of thriving in life.
If you are a parent reading this, chances are your children are extremely privileged. I guess it is also a good opportunity to share these videos with them, so that they understand that the world is a complicated one, and that they can be understanding and compassionate to those who are living with foster parents, and to those with troubled family backgrounds.
MSF website: www.msf.gov.sg/fostering
MSF hotline: +65 6354 8799
Note: This is a non-sponsored post.