64. When the World Stops Seeing the Trauma

Trauma isn’t healed in a night, or month, or even one plus years. Trauma has the ability to change the structure of a child’s brain. That sort of change takes a strong intervention and consistent work, patience, understanding, and determination to move small blocks. Most of all, it takes time.

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63. On the “other side”

We have always extended grace to the parents of our kiddos. We knew it was hard to have all your interactions supervised, we just didn’t know how hard that truly was. We do now.

I sat in a strange chair in a strange room with one sided glass on the wall and a video camera in the corner. Act naturally, I though. You have nothing to worry about. This is routine and “they” just want to see a baseline of how you and your kiddo interact so they can gauge progress of the program. Easier said than done as I anxiously steal a glance at that camera in the corner. To be blissfully unaware as the kiddo. To not know what is on the line. To not have your heart beating so loudly that people 3 buildings away can hear it. I will never forget that feeling, the smell of that room, or the reason we were sitting at that table.

It’s crazy to think that we have found ourselves in the position of people that have their visits and phone calls supervised for the time being. Let me tell you, there is nothing in this world that is more uncomfortable. No other experience could have prepared us for the anxiety that comes with answering the phone knowing that someone is writing everything down to analyze your relationship. Nothing could have prepared us for the deep anxiety of participating in an attachment assessment. To know that there is a complete stranger on the other side of one way glass that is watching and recording you when you are supposed to be interacting naturally with your kiddo.

We have been huge advocates for extending grace and understanding to kiddo’s parents in the past; it is so much more than that now. I hope, for your sake, that you never know the discomfort of this feeling.

That being said, this is where we are. This is where situations brought us and we will adapt and overcome (as a dear friend says). We will learn to function in this new normal and we will heal together, as a family.

So I ask you… the next time that you are supervising a visit or phone call and you feel anxiety or wanting to be done from the other side… please extend grace and put yourself in their shoes. How would it feel to know you love your kiddos with all your heart and it is someone else’s role to judge that? Only then can we come together in the triangle to heal all around for the kiddos in our care.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with us and allowing us to share our stories.

56. Should we require appreciation from our kiddos?

Mama S here. I have seen an article being widely spread that speaks about how foster children shouldn’t be required to be grateful for everything the foster family does for them. That the foster family signs up for caring for kiddos from hard places and that they shouldn’t expect their foster kids to appreciate what they do for them. I’ve been sitting with that for a bit and I have to say that, while I partially agree, I also strongly disagree.Continue reading

55. The next frontier

Good morning, Mama S here. There have been a lot of talks within our household of a dream I have that I am taking steps toward becoming a reality. As some of you may be aware, I read, watch, discuss everything I can come across that talks about parenting, successful parenting, children that grew up with trauma, etc. I have been taking in all this information and discussing it in therapy, at home, with other foster parents, and with our social workers. This has put an idea in my head that has been brewing for about a year now. Today is the day to put it out there and hold myself accountable. I am taking steps to become a Certified Parenting Coach and I will (eventually) also be studying to become certified in Trust Based Relational Intervention.Continue reading

17. Saying Goodbye

Dear V,

Know that you were fought for. The first home you came into when you left your parent’s home loved you dearly. We enlisted the help of advocates, reached out to supervisor’s supervisors, we sent so many emails, and in the end it wasn’t enough. You were made to leave our home. When you left, you took the biggest pieces of our hearts we had. Your smile brightened our days and your tears tugged at our heart strings. We celebrated the smallest of achievements and adjusted our lives to bend to meet your needs and for your well-being. Was it hard? Yes. You are worth it. You are worth every tear, every moment of angst we experienced when trying to keep you, the biggest heartbreak we have ever experienced. You are worth it all. Don’t forget to celebrate the little things with your big smile and clapping. The world is hard and you deserve to celebrate those wins. We will miss you every day and think of you often. We are thankful for what you have brought into our lives and the love you were also so willing to give.

Never forget you deserve the world and that you were fought for.

All the love in the world,

Mama S

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvpG2y2-51s%5D

16. And then there were none

How do you choose between your dog and your foster son? How do you make a permanent decision in an situation that could be very temporary? How do you choose who to displace? Some may say that the decision would be easy. The dog would have to go. Others would say that their dog is family and the decision is harder. For us, it was the hardest decision we have had to make as a couple.
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJZPyvwWPlE%5D
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