A few weeks ago this article floated around Facebook. The information in the article is incredible. It really IS what every Foster Parent wants you to know. However, the way it's presented is a bit harsh, so please be aware of that. Don't let it turn you off to what is really said at the core of the article.
My sis-in-law read it and asked what she could say instead. Her comment was she would just not say anything if she didn't know what to say. That was interesting to me. One of the things that is so tough on Tony and I is when we feel like people are avoid a conversation about our kids. We have people we see on a regular bases who don't even acknowledge our kids exists and it is heart breaking. Because of this I wanted to give you five things you CAN say to a Foster Parent. If you are a foster/adoptive parent and you want to add of change any of these, feel free to add a comment.
1. I'm praying for you! We as Foster Parents desperately need prayer. Please, pray for us. And if you already are, let us know. It is a huge encouragement and blessing to us.
2. Ask about each one of my children, individually. We have FOUR kids, not three foster kids and one biological kid. Please remember that. When our kiddos first came to live with us everyone wanted to meet them and very few even acknowledged that Addilece existed. We have some people who want to ask or talk to just our fosters and others who want to ask or talk to just Addilece. Each of our kids are ours and each need people to love them and invest in them. AND each is very different from the other three.
3. How are you doing? We live in a society that asks that question but doesn't want to hear the answer. If you ask us, be ready to listen to honest emotions and feelings that come out of our mouths. Sometimes we just need to talk.
4. How can I help you? Recently a Pastor took 2 minutes to help me get all my bags and kids into the church. It was great. We often run around with our heads cut off. Sometimes an extra set of hands makes a world of difference.
5. Is there anything you need? Foster Parents often needs something, usually babysitting. Taking time to list to what they need and then finding a way to help can re leave a lot of stress. Even if we don't need something at the time it helps us know that you care enough to listen and offer.