Sunday, October 5, 2014
Foster parenting can be a lonely business. It is tough to go out into the world and join playdates and homeschool co ops with families who just don't get it. Many try and many are willing to jump in and help which makes these outings bearable, but the constant worry that your child's trauma will surface in behaviors that everyone will judge, making sure you aren't meeting on a bio parent's turf to avoid further drama, and just the sheer exhaustion of it all often make me bail out of such outings.
Once in a while you find a friend or two who are living the same reality. They are in the trenches, healing trauma, doing paperwork, cleaning for monthly social worker visits, engulfed in appointments, praying just to get through THIS moment. I have found a couple of these recently and honestly I am not sure how I've gotten through the past couple of years without them. This isn't to say I am not grateful for my amazing friends who still embrace us and love us through it all, I really am and I don't know what I'd do without those friends either and they are SURELY part of how I HAVE gotten through the past couple of years reminding me of who I am because they've been with me for longer than I've been a foster mom.
I have found that far more valuable than therapy, or even a glass of wine, is just a chat with a fellow foster mom or two who get it on a level that no one else will. She also looks pain in the face every day and embraces it anyway, knowing God will bring beauty from the ashes. She gets the twisted sense of humor needed for such work, she laughs and cries and walks alongside. She prays with and for your family knowing the gravity of it all. She understands the frustration of red tape and judges and visits and the politics of it all.
These family connections are proving to be invaluable in my life. Somehow a trip to a public place with another family like mine seems less daunting. We might have over a dozen kids between us but somehow when we're in it together it seems doable...and it is we can laugh at the chaos and shrug off the stares. A camping trip that may have otherwise seemed impossible becomes possible knowing we're all a team working toward a common goal.
I am grateful for all of the friends I have in life who join me where I am, but if you are a foster mom out there, feeling isolated, find yourself a fellow foster mom or two or three...it will be an invaluable resource.
Posted by boltefamily at 10:16 AM