Blending Families: The Series on Blending Your Bio and Foster Kids

 Taking in foster kids is a big decision, and many things should be considered when you have children already in the home.  Please read the following series to discover what I learned on my journey and listen to my daughter's reflections on her experiences with foster children growing up.


  • Into the Fold: The Effect on Your Bio Kids When Foster Kids Come Home: Part 1 

    Synopsis: Becoming a foster parent when you already have children of your own is a big decision, and one that is sometimes made with well-intentioned naïveté. At least, it was in my case.  Ten years ago, I led my family, (2 daughters and my wife) into a life helping children in my community. I already had a lot of experience dealing with troubled kids at my job where I frequently supervised kids doing community service hours. I found out that bringing them into my home and making them part of my family was both rewarding, and a much greater risk than I had anticipated.
  • Into the Fold: Blending Your Bio Kids with Your Foster Kids - Part 2: Rooms to Grow… 

     Synopsis:  I asked my daughter to write down her thoughts on growing up in a home with foster children and I thought that her advice and insights would be very valuable to new (and experienced) foster parents out there. I feel that foster parent training may not really prepare families for the realities of bringing children with complex emotional, behavioral and cognitive issues into their home. Caseworkers and counselors, though they may be well meaning, do not always “have your back” and you must take the reins and lead your household in the safest and most nurturing way possible for both your biological and foster children. 
  • Blending Your Foster Kids and Your Bio Kids: Part 3 When Jealousy Rears Its Ugly Head… 

    Synopsis:  When I first started doing foster care I knew it would be a growing and learning experience for my whole family. If you read Parts 1 and 2 of this series, you can see that the growing has been painful at times, but there have been countless blessings as well. My daughters have met all different kinds of people during our family’s journey through foster care, and some of the children touched our lives and hearts in positive ways.  Sometimes the relationships evolved in unexpected ways.
    When I asked my oldest daughter, now 21, to reflect on some of the children that crossed her path, she thought about one girl who really illustrates this point.


  1. I really appreciate all the helpful advice here. My husband and I recently got licensed as "traditional" foster parents. I have also had some conversations with an agency who takes therapeutic kids. I have a 12 year old girl who I adopted from fostercare when she was 4 1/2 who has attachment/ADHD issues and a 5 year old biological son. I am trying to figure out what kind of child would be suitable for our family. Should I play it safe and just take kids under 5? Should I take girls only from therapeutic fostercare (we would only be taking one at a time and have a separate bedroom). The other issue is that all the kids bedrooms are on the second floor while we are on the first floor. However, due to open floor plan, I can see all their bedroom doors from below. Please give me any advice you can provide on this. I have been thinking about this for months and have not been able to come to a conclusion - I don't want my son to be hurt by this and my daughter wants a girl her age- but I am concerned about her ability to get along with her so am thinking maybe a much older girl - 16years? might be easier because they would live in separate circles. The nice thing about the agency is that you get a lot more info. on the kids before they live with you as well as a trial weekend. Any advice please...

    1. Hi, thanks for writing. You don't want to get an older girl. You want to get a younger girl ... younger than your daughter, so that the younger girl looks up to your daughter and your daughter can be the "Older sister" and enjoy that role. A younger girl will help your daughter with her attachment disorder as well.
      An older girl will influence your daughter and any bad behavior she exhibits will influence her, and she may mimic it.
      A younger girl, 2 years younger for example, will also help YOUR relationship with your daughter, as she will now have to compete a bit more for your attention.. therefore, bringing her closer to you... (I will post a link here to the blog post on this competing for good behavior.)
      Good Luck!
      John and Diane


      Here's the other blog about competing .. check it out.

  2. Hi Diane,
    I am working on a research project exploring the impact of growing up with foster children and would love to connect and learn from what data you have collected or discovered.