Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Inspiration from They're All My Children

In searching my local library, I found a book on foster parents. That was exciting, as it seems most memoirs are about foster children. It's called "They're All My Children: Foster Mothering in America" by
Danielle Wozniak. 

I appreciated the psychological and anthropological insight into foster mothers. Wozniak interviewed many women of different ages, social positions and backgrounds. She found these six of the themes were prevalent during her interviews:
 -Importance of motherhood and care-giving through affective relationships with foster children
-Women's healing and transformative work with children through foster mother/child relationship
-The creation of enduring kinship relationships with foster children through affective claims of belonging
-Importance of women's embodied knowledge relative to work of foster mothering
-Experience of loss and bereavement
-The way in which fostering relationships and women's sense of mothering is conditioned by conflicts with the state
I found this a fascinating book, with lots of quoted sections. However a sometimes clinical approach made for slow reading, personally. 
This book gave me food for thought as I work on a memoir of Dorothy and Manuel Perez, who were foster parents for 45 years for 94 children. They had four sons of their own, adopted two daughters and a son.

Do you know a foster mom or are you one? Do any of these themes ring true for you?


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