What I Have Learned Along the Way

In honor of May being National Foster Care Month, Strengthening Families, Changing Lives is running a special series designed to give a voice to the many different perspectives of foster care and adoption. This series will feature guest posts by people with widely varying experiences. 

What I Have Learned Along the Way
by Charonne Ganiere, Wisconsin foster mom

More than three years ago, my family began this journey of fostering. It started as a desire to grow our family through adoption. We wanted to provide the ultimate rescue for a child by giving her a life she wouldn’t otherwise have. We would love her, keep her safe, provide for her, she would be our daughter . . . and from the moment that tiny, beautiful, high-pitched, glass-breaking, screaming little girl came through our door she was just that: “ours.”

The only thing is she wasn’t “ours.” She had (and still has) biological parents with rights to her. Parents who, in spite of our greatest efforts, we have never been able to truly connect with. I have learned that some people fight for change, fight for better, and others fight to fight. I have learned that I can’t fix everything and I certainly cannot control what others choose to do – or not to do.

Most of all, what I have learned along the way is that we can do so much more! So, a few months ago, we opened our home to another precious little one. This time we went in not just to add to our family, but to help a family heal.

It has been a pleasure to build a relationship and work hand in hand with this mom. Even more so, it has been amazing to see how her daughter lights up when she calls or when we get together for special visits.

We, as foster parents, have had the privilege of experiencing both sides of the system. We have added a beautiful little girl to our family (as we move closer to adoption every day). We have also experienced the joy in being part of the healing process for a family. Both experiences, both of these children, are precious to us. I would not trade either one or all that we have learned for the world!






2 thoughts on “What I Have Learned Along the Way

  1. I want to say “thank you” for making the decision to foster! It is truly appreciated, and you are amazing for doing so.

    I also want to say, as the biological mother of a child who was fostered and then adopted, that your post really touched me – especially so close to Mother’s Day. I’m sure this mother is very grateful for your encouragement and guidance.

    I was blessed to have such a person in my life and I’m still so in awe of her, even all these years later. It’s been over 8 years since she fostered my little guy, but we still get together for talks and she functions much like a “surrogate grandmother” (she’s older) and also shares stories with me about my son, who she still visits on occasion.

    Such a thing is very rare in foster care (even our judge was absolutely amazed and commented on our situation) and I want you to know you are doing a GREAT thing. PLEASE don’t let anyone deter you from this amazing work.

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