Thursday, June 5, 2014

Getting Real: The Hero Mentality of Foster Care Pt 1

We were at a dinner and someone was asking me about foster care, why and how we got into it.  "That's very.................................nice of you."

I'm not sure he meant nice but he was speaking along the lines of the "charity" or "goodness of our hearts" to take these kids that are not our own in.  There is a hero mentality in foster care.  Not by the foster parents, but by society in general.  It's a belief that what we do is extra ordinary.  We are hero's, rescuing these kids from a horrible past.

Here's part of the problem with that.  Our kids do not view us as rescuers, but rather as preventing them from being with their family.  Let me repeat that: our children do not view us as rescuing them from their past, rather they see us as preventing them from being with their families.

Early on in Baby Girl's counseling her Counselor taught us to pass the buck and "always push the blame up the ladder".  Blame the agency, blame the judge, always pass it on.  She said that because often our children turn around and blame us for being in foster care.

I hear this out of my children's mouths at least once a week: "I'm mad at you because I want to live with my birth family."  Or "I'm mad at you because I don't want you to be my mom, I want my birth mom."  Or "I won't show you respect because you make me live here, I don't want to live here."

We've been working on this for two years and I still here that at least once a week.  

The hero mentality damages our children.  It gives them a sense that they should be grateful to us.  It makes them believe that they owe us something for all we've "given up" for them.  It COMPLETELY goes against true love!  It COMPLETELY goes against healing these kids.

We are not the hero's for rescuing these kids, because we didn't rescue them.  They are the hero's because of all they are choosing to overcome on a daily basis.  We do not need gratitude for raising them, rather we are privileged to have them in our family.  At the core it's not about us, it's about these kids.

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