Take the time and in a quiet moment just look. What do you see?
There should be excitement, joy, and inquisitiveness. This is what a child’s world should be filled with.
The reality of a foster kid’s life.
Unfortunately, the foster kid’s life is a nightmare. I look into the eyes of the children we meet at matching events and I am haunted by what I have seen.
There is a deep sadness, so much hopelessness, and the huge burden of tremendous loss. Beautiful eyes that are eager for us to like them. For us to choose them. Because all they want… is a place to call home, to feel safe, and to feel loved.
Every child deserves these things. It is a pretty simple concept, but at the same time so completely difficult to get to that elusive place.
An innocent, but loaded question.
Last week someone asked whether my husband and I had thought about our son Eliott and the consequences of adopting foster children would have on him. People are insensitive, we know that. So many times we hear really stupid things, but this one takes the cake.
In our world, when you become a parent, your child is your number one priority. You put your own needs aside for them. From the beginning (even when we were trying to have a baby) we thought about Eliott first. We never wanted him to feel left out, pushed aside or God forbid, unloved. We especially didn’t want him to get hurt in any way during this process. His being with us only part-time complicates that. We already worry about his feelings and constantly reassure him that we love and him and we are here for him, even if we are 750 miles apart.
We have spent well over a year exploring the adoption option. We have attended information sessions, talked well into the night about all the ways this huge decision will affect our family; we have filled out grueling applications, been privy to invasive interviews, and completed hours of training sessions. We have a very clear picture about what this adoption experience may look like.
Fully experiencing these children with open arms.
However, this experience is theirs and ours. We are open to all the possibilities of what the foster kids will show us. These are little people who have lost so very much — over and over again — discarded by the very people who were supposed to protect them. They have lost their whole world, but somehow are still able to light a room with a single smile. Who hug each other with such joy and love. Who are so resilient.
We want to give them back a piece of what they’ve lost. We want to provide a safe home. We want to provide them unconditional love. And trust me, these kids come with lots of conditions (years of therapy, years of hurt, and years of mistrust). Nonetheless, they are children that deserve to be loved. And in the process someone to help them heal, even if it is just a little.
Please think about what you’re saying before you pass judgment about the road we’ve opted to travel. We are not some sensationalized media story. We are real people, just doing the best we know how. All we ask from our family and friends is that they keep an open mind. Do not prejudge these children based on a system that is broken in so many ways, on parents that just couldn’t do their jobs, or on their behaviors because they don’t know how to express all the feelings they have inside of them. We ask that you support us and give them your love, your hope, and all the blessings they need and so deserve.
They have much to teach us. We will be changed.
We think Eliott will be wonderful for them. We think they will be wonderful for him. We think Eliott will learn all about giving in ways a sermon or a book could not possibly ever convey. We think Eliott will be better for having been part of this adoption experience. We already know we will be.