Thursday, January 30, 2014

Supporting Foster/Adoptive Parent's Through Reminders

The journey of helping your foster or adopted child heal is long.  Often you don't seen the changes in your child.  It's easy to get wrapped up in the struggle and forget how far they've come.

Here's an example from our life.  I have often been reminded by a dear, sweet friend that when we first started taking the kids to church they were straight faced, no emotions.  They wouldn't look you in the eye.  Now, Little Man goes running down the hall with a smile on his face, straight to his classroom.  He even held our Children's Director's hand on his own.  Big Brother greets people with confidence and a smile.  He'll have a conversation with them.  Baby Girl was standing all by herself and when Grandpa Bob approached her the other day she greeted him.  She's even told me a name or two of people she goes to Sunday School or Awana with. 

They are growing, healing, and making progress.  However, I walk through those doors and all that's on my mind is the melt down we had over the fact that all the buttons on the shirt weren't button.  The child who spent the entire drive telling me they didn't want to go to church or live in our house.  The disrespect shown when I said they couldn't bring that toy with them.

How sweet it is when my friend reminds me of how far they have come.  It brings a breathe of fresh air.

Side Note: Please be careful not to belittle a foster or adoptive parents struggle that they may be sharing.  If they are choosing to open up to you what they are usually looking for is a listening ear.  

If you have been around a foster/adoptive family for a length of time you've probably seen a few things change.  Take a minute to note one change, maybe the way the child seems happier, sits better, talks better, greets people, etc.  The next time you see that parent (or hop on Facebook or your phone and send them a note) simply say, "I've noticed how much better your child _________________ lately.  That's wonderful.  We are praying for you guys."  It will brighten their day.

No comments: