Monday, August 15, 2011

The Other Parents

Our daughters are in band/color guard at the high school and we took the night off tp go watch their first performance of this year’s halftime show. The band director at the high school has done a phenomenal job with the kids this year and the show is simply wonderful. It’s called Heroes Fallen, But Not Forgotten and is a tribute to all those who have given their lives in the name of freedom. It’s very moving to watch.
For me, the show is very emotional. My son, Chayce, just left home for his second deployment overseas. He came home last November from a year of service in Afghanistan and has now left for Kuwait. He will be driving a truck hauling supplies from Kuwait to Iraq. It’s so hard to watch your child leave-to know he has left the safety of your arms, your home, can be heart-wrenching. It made me consider what the birth parents of the children we foster may be going through.
I am sure many of the birth parents feel the same way. When their children are removed from their care they face the same uncertainty. They have no idea where their child(ren) are going or how they will be treated. Regardless of what the allegation is against them, these are still their children and I am certain they love them. When you look at it from that perspective it kind of changes your opinion of them. They are not horrible people, most of them anyway. They want what is best for their child, they simply lack the skills and/or resources to provide what their child(ren) need. This is where we, the foster parents, come in.
As we take these children into our homes we need to consider what they, and their parents, are giving up. Encourage their visits with each other to foster the relationship they already have. Talk with the children about their parent(s) in a positive way. Help them write notes to them (but, don’t force them) letting them know they are thinking of them. In this way, children can stay in touch. Include the parents in the child’s lifebooks.
It only takes a little effort on our part to keep the lines of communication open between the birth parent and the child, but what a difference this can make in the life of that child.

No comments:

for stopping by!