In an interview with a dear member of our FosterLink team, foster parent and biological mother of three, Muna, has opened up on her experience caring for foster children.
When asked of what inspired her to be a foster parent, Muna makes a mention of being touched by the Syrian tragedy. Muna and her husband initially wished to adopt a child made an orphan by the Syrian crisis. Upon discovering children in Syria were not available for adoption, their next choice was to adopt a child from an orphanage in Canada. As there are no there are no longer orphanages in Canada, the couple came across Children’s Aid Society of Toronto (CAS), learning that foster care was the appropriate option to take care of a vulnerable child.
Like anyone considering becoming a foster parent, Muna had initial concerns surrounding the matter. The process of determining the eligibility of the family involved the inspection of every aspect of their lives, including the manner in which the couple raised and cared for their children. As a mother, Muna found the idea of potentially being criticized for her motherhood skills and in turn, the possibility of intervention in her family matters to be worrisome. Nonetheless, she depended on Allah and overcame her fears. Knowing she had the right intentions, she proceeded with the process. It was clear to Muna that CAS had legitimate reasons for every step of the process. CAS’s transparency and thorough communication provided Muna with a better understanding of their approach and as a result, put her at ease.
Muna experienced caring for two foster children, a new born infant and a 6-month-old baby at different intervals of time. By the time the process of determining the family’s eligibility was over, Muna became pregnant with her third child. Despite her pregnancy fatigue, she proceeded with taking in the foster children. A typical day for Muna involved preparing her biological children for school in the morning. Next, their father took them to school. She then spent the rest of her day caring for her foster child. On top of the obligations one would have when caring for any child, Muna was responsible for escorting the child to meetings, social worker visits, and doctor, therapist and parental meeting appointments. Additionally, documenting the child’s activities, sleep pattern and food intake were typical of Muna’s daily routine.
One may wonder how Muna’s children found the experience. They were five and six years of age during this time. According to Muna, her older child sets the tone. He and his younger brother were warm and welcoming of the foster children. They were eager to help care for and gently play with the foster children and treated them as no less than younger siblings.
In her interview, Muna mentioned one aspect of foster care that often goes undiscussed. While the role of foster families is to provide foster children with care and affection, monetary expenses are covered by the fostering agency. Foster parents receive tax-free reimbursements for the expenses of the foster child. This removes the monetary burden from the responsibilities of foster parents.
Muna concluded her interview with the following, wonderful piece of advice:
“On the days when it gets rough, have faith that you are doing the right thing and that will pull you through.”
If Muna can do it while she is pregnant and caring for two other children, you should also consider becoming a foster caregiver!
If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please click here.