Each Hour Counts: A Biological Son’s Perspective as a Foster & Adoptive Brother

Intro by Elizabeth Hollida, Recruitment Specialist: Digital Media; Essay by Joshua Bowen

One of the most common questions we hear from potential foster parents is, "How do biological children adjust to having children temporarily placed in their home?"

Joshua Bowen, the son of one of our former foster parents, was one of just 15 students, selected because of their significant contributions to their communities, to win Disney's 2016 Shining Stars Award (four free annual passes for the whole family to Disney Parks, $100 park money, a VIP night by the fireworks that included a free dessert bar, and a trophy!) with his powerful essay below.  In his essay, Joshua paints a picture of what fostering and adoption has meant for him, as the biological son of parents who have fostered and adopted.  

Thanks for being such a great brother, Joshua!  Congratulations!

Each Hour Counts

by Joshua Bowen

As Dorothy Height once said, “Community service is the way in which we ourselves grow and develop.” This statement demonstrates how vital the impact of community service has on people, both physically and mentally. I have found that helping others not only provides resources and experiences for those receiving, but more importantly, builds character for those giving.

This is why my family chose to become a foster, and eventually adoptive family in Polk County, Florida. As a foster and adoptive brother, I have been allowed the opportunity to help shelter ten different children within our home over the past eight years. During this time, I have been able to develop patience and empathy for those who have experienced great trauma.

Since I was an only child for the first six years of my life, these experiences led me to share my space, toys, time, and even my family. With every child that was taken in, I felt it was my responsibility to make sure they didn't leave without knowing that there was someone who cared. I have helped prepare numerous meals, organize clothes, provide safety and fun at the park, entertainment at home and in the car, reading of books, bedtime prayers, and much more.

Although some of my foster brothers and sisters stayed for only a short time, I believe that each day counts. I believe that each hour counts. Although some can say, “You only helped ten children, but I’ve helped hundreds.” To this day I still pray with every sacrifice that I have made as a foster and adoptive brother, that this may inspire families to reach out to make a difference in their community one child at a time. This approach will ultimately change the heart of a city, possibly nation, and hopefully the world.