Fostering

Foster parents are a needed resource in this world…that is a fact.

I know it, I have seen it and I have lived it. Children are born into some very dire circumstances and they have no other choice but to go and be where they are told to go and be. The other fact is this…they didn’t chose to walk that path.  It is chosen for them and that is the reality of fostering a child.

When people look at a child that is the foster system, what do they see? Do they have pity or do they say, as I have heard over and over….”oh, I could never be a foster parent!” And the reasons that are given are interesting…”I would get too attached to them” or “I couldn’t give them back!” Yes, you do get attached to them and have that longing for them to be attached to you.  But, in general, children that have dealt with early trauma, are going to have a hard time attaching to anyone. (another post) And…sometimes you may have to make the decision to give the child “back”,  either for the biological parents to have another chance at connecting with their child or to another family that can give that child exactly what they need.

I think the real question that we need to ask ourselves is this….What can *I* do to help children that are in the system?

Sometimes it is taking children into our home, but sometimes it means “helping” in other ways….volunteering your time to a child or a parent or offering your skills to a family that may need just what you have to give, maybe giving monetarily or calling representatives to ask for more funding to keep our programs intact. Searching ourselves for that answer is very personal.

Parenting a child with early trauma is not easy…I will not mince words….it s not easy.  But it doesn’t have to be a daily battle.

You can find a place of peace and contentment in your life with your child.

There are many paths and many “experts” that will give you advice and proclaim that their way is the right way to proceed.  I say….listen to yourself.  When you find yourself in a situation with your child that just feels bad and there’s no connection happening, step back and observe the situation….ask yourself what feels right to you. You have more power and answers within you than you realize. Trust that process and you will receive not only answers about how to move forward in parenting your children, but also answers about yourself, answers that will enable you to be a better parent, partner and friend.

I heard someone say once that, “Children are here to teach us more about ourselves and about situations that we didn’t even know existed”.  This is so true as you are living and learning with children that have suffered trauma.  They tend to bring out your trauma as well. And it’s okay….embrace this, use it as a teaching moment not only for your child, but for you as well.

“Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made, and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer ‘Tomorrow,’ his name is today.” – Gabriela Mistral


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