Monday, December 8, 2014

Supporting Foster/Adoptive Families: Holiday Edition

Trees are being put up, presents wrapped, Christmas music is blarring everywhere.  It's a time to be joyous.  However, in many foster and adoptive Homes things are not feeling very joyful right now.  There are more meltdowns and fits, behavior at school it worse, parents and kids are both tired. 

This is a hard time for kids from hard places.  They miss their birth families and wish they could be with them.  They may not understand the traditions in their new home or they miss old traditions.  They may have certain expectations that get in the way of enjoying themselves.  They may be overwhelmed by the concerts, the people, and the hustle and bustle.

If you are looking to support a foster or adoptive family this is a great time of year to do it.  Here are a few practical ways that you could consider in helping support a foster/adoptive family this Christmas. 

Wrap Gifts:  An increase in children often means an increase in gifts.  Wrapping all of that can be an overwhelming task for many parents.  Stop by their house, pick up a load of toys, and bring them back wrapped a few hours later.

Shopping/Babysitting: Some families need time to get out of the house and finish Christmas shopping without their kids.  Even an hour at the mall play place could be a huge blessing.  Others know exactly what they need and would rather not add the tension by having a babysitter come in.  However, someone getting it for them while they are already at the store is a huge blessing.

A Meal: On top of many appointments a family has each week they are now dealing with they also have shopping to do, family get togethers, Christmas programs and more.  A meal would be a welcome relief in their day.

Gift Cards: Extra gas, more nights out, more presents to buy.  A gift card to take the finicial burden off of all of that would be a blessing to many families.

Taking Over the School: Is one (or more) of the kiddos in charge of something like home baked goods or a game for a school party.  Maybe you could take over that item and relieve the stress for the parents.

Sometimes Christmas turns into survival mode for many of these families, rather then a time to celebrate.  We have been very blessed to have others support us in many of the ways above and know first hand the stress it can relieve. If you are a foster or adoptive family what are ways people have supported you this year?  If you are a support family, how have you supported a foster/adoptive family in the past?

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