Good evening, family, friends, and readers. We disappeared. We folded into ourselves and our home due to stress and trauma taking over. I ended up having to take a break from work due to stress and our kiddos struggles were real. That is where we are. Foster care isn’t always sunshine and roses; in fact, it isn’t most days. Many days trauma jumps up and bites you in your places you were not paying attention to only to have you settle that down and have it jump up in a different place. You are not alone. We are not alone. Find your group. I am starting a support group in my local area. If there isn’t one where you are, start one! Drive to find one. Talk to your friends and family. If there isn’t a group for them, invite them to come to the greater Milwaukee area to my group for friends and family of foster parents.
We can’t do this journey alone. Doing this alone wears people down to the point of exhaustion or quitting. No one wins at that.
You are not alone in your hurt; you are not alone in your pain; you are not alone in your confusion. The people in your life WANT to help they just don’t know how. I know that we want people to:
- bring us food (as cooking is a creative process and it. is. hard. when life is hard)
- clean our bathroom (or any other room)
- take us for coffee and let us talk about it (or NOT talk about it).
- **Insert what YOU want
The reality is people don’t know what best to do to help and we don’t want to impose.
If you are a friend/family member of a foster parent that is struggling: show up and help; send a uber eats gift card; show up with gloves and bleach and ask what room needs it most- don’t accept NO for an answer; show up and sit on their couch and keep your mouth shut when they word vomit how hard things are- or when they refuse to talk about the herd of elephants in the room; pick their kids up and take them to see Frozen 2; XYZ. Help. We need it and may be too exhausted to ask for it.
If you are a foster parent that is struggling: extend grace to your friends and family that are not showing up as you hope. They want to, they just don’t know what to do. Send them a meme or article telling them what YOU need. LET THEM HELP when they show up.
I had a dear online friend post today that she was struggling with SAD. I don’t have anything to give in person, so I sent them a gift card for uber eats so they don’t have to leave the house to get food. It was fast, it was easy, and it makes a difference. It doesn’t take moving mountains to help. Sometimes it is just looking a person in the eyes and telling them that you see them.
To all the mamas and papas in the greater Milwaukee area that are struggling… I see you. Come chat about it and laugh about it at my FREE foster/adoptive parent support group in St Francis (see my Facebook page for more info). If your families don’t get it (or if they do and they are exhausted too), send them to the support group for them in St Francis (info on my Facebook page). We can get through this roller-coaster together… perhaps even come out on the other side with new best friends and stories to help us through the next valley.
Until next time,