Having a foster son has put a lot of things in prospective for me. Things such as the way you talk to a younger generation, facial expressions, and inflections in your voice, etc. But I know one thing that is, and always has to be, there -- and that is time.
Making time for your child, whether they are your biological, foster or adoptive child, is paramount. You will learn so much. You will learn what your child's interests are, what they don't like, who they are, and who they might want to become. We make sure he has his own space to be by himself but we also have family movie time.
One night my son wanted to play Jenga and I said, "Okay." We had a lot of fun. Check out the video to see who won the game. We, on occasion, will play board games to together and those are the important times. The times he will remember when he grows up to become an adult.
Also, a lot of foster children do not spend time with their biological parents because of outside factors, which could or could not be within the biological parent's control. It is a case-by-case basis. At least with my son, I know he needs to spend time with us, so that we can form a bond. We took him to his first Drag Show at Freddie's Beach Bar and Restaurant in VA and he loved it. He will remember that time always because he has never had that acceptance being an LGBT teenager. It was and will always be an affirmation that his own sexuality is normal and he needn't be ashamed of who he is.
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Justin B. Terry-Smith, M.P.H., may be one of the most public African Americans living with HIV: He has his own website, and he's even on YouTube. He is a noted HIV and gay civil rights activist and the creator of "Justin's HIV Journal," a popular blog in which he shares his trials and tribulations of living with HIV. A U.S. Air Force veteran, Justin resides in Laurel, Maryland, with his husband, Dr. Philip Terry-Smith, and their son, Lundyn. Presently, Justin is working toward earning his doctorate in public health. He welcomes your questions.
(Photo credit: Don Harris)
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