1. You can live with a total stranger (at first) without prejudice.
2. You can follow rules and laws.
3. You can forgive and forget.
4. You have a sense of humor and laugh a lot.
5. You don't have to "Fix" everyone and everything.
6. You are a good listener, willing to listen and show concern, and not just instruct.
7. Even in difficult situations you can be respectful.
8. You can admit when you are wrong and can take responsibility.
9. You don't have to be loved "back". What can I do to help this child, not what can this child give me.
10. You have a support system; for me it is my husband and family, but mainly, a relationship with Jesus Christ helps me through all of it.
Once, when I was giving a foster parent orientation to a group of prospective foster parents I came to the topic of spanking. One of the men brought it up because he had heard that foster children cannot be spanked, nor could corporal punishment be used. After some conversation, he said, "Well, my dad spanked me, and I turned out o.k." "When was the last time he spanked you?", I asked. "Well, when I was big enough to hit him back", he replied. I asked, "Is that the kind of relationship you want with your child?"
The point of foster parenting was originally supposed to be a safe, neutral, temporary place where a child can be nurtured until a permanent place can be found with family. Times and ideas change through the years, but it has always been helpful to me to remember, they are on loan to me.