Foster Parent Spotlight: Miranda
Foster Parent Spotlight: Miranda
In honour of Foster Parent Appreciation Month, every week we are spotlighting some remarkable Foster Parents.
Breaking the stigma of fostering children with FASD
Foster Parenting children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) can be challenging, but it’s about learning how to parent differently and equipping yourself with the resources to thrive, says Miranda Myers, a Tikinagan Foster Parent and author of FASD & Me: Strengthening My Community.
“I wanted to be the best parent I could be,” said Miranda, who has adopted four and fostered more than 20 children. “I’ve participated in almost every workshop that I could just to learn more so I could become a better parent for them.”
While over these years Miranda has taken every opportunity to learn and equip herself with the skills to accommodate the children that come into her home, she admits that her own children and those who come into care have been the best teachers.
“The kids have taught me more than I probably have taught them,” said Miranda.
Today, Miranda has become a go-to Foster Parent for children with higher needs than most, inspiring her to create resources to educate her community and for children to advocate for themselves.
This led to Miranda, with the help of her daughter, Hope, creating a book for children and youth that are diagnosed with FASD. Created in partnership with Adopt4Life, the book contains FASD facts and information which dispel common myths and stereotypes of FASD as well as worksheets to share strengths and challenges, triggers, goals, and strategies for success for the child or youth.
“I wanted to create awareness for the community and give an opportunity for my daughter to start to advocate for herself, regarding how FASD has affected her,” explains Miranda about the motivation behind writing the book.
Miranda wants the book to help families so that they can strengthen and create awareness “where there’s not the shame and the blame stigma around why kids behave the way they do.”
Miranda adds that it’s “really important” for children to understand that they can say things in a safe place and be able to talk openly with people.
FASD can occur in a person who was exposed to alcohol before birth. These effects can include physical problems and problems with behavior and learning. Miranda says children with FASD process and feel emotions differently, sometimes feeling shame and leading to behavioural problems. She believes that awareness of FASD will help bring change.
“I think it’s just creating more awareness and opportunities for these kids to say, ‘I’m different and that’s okay.’”
A long, fulfilling journey
Miranda and her partner’s fostering journey began after they were experiencing fertility issues nearly two decades ago. Intent on building a home for adopting older children, they wanted to make right decision for their family. They decided fostering would be a good first step.
“It’s been a journey – a long journey – but fulfilling journey.
“We just continued. There’s a need for our kids to (be with) other kids that were in the foster care system and then we just never stopped.”
As a part of Tikinagan’s Foster Parent Appreciation Month in March, Miranda, along with the more than 370 foster parents across the agency’s 30 First Nations and urban communities, are being recognized by the agency for their commitment to raising children.
Miranda was nominated for Foster Parent Appreciation Month because of her dedication to ensuring she accommodates all the children that coming into her home, short-term or long-term.
“Fostering is hard and you do feel alone. Getting the recognition really made me realize that I am doing the best I can. It is has been a positive experience for not only me, but for the workers as well, so I’m very thankful for that.”
On March 31, Miranda will be a guest speaker at our Foster Parent Appreciation Event, being held to celebrate our Foster Parents!