Have you ever noticed how some animals and people just look so sad all the time? I have had the overwhelming urge to just walk up and hug people on many occasions.
In the world of adoption and foster care you can’t always be so open with your emotions at times. That alone breaks my heart because I have seen some children who were in dire need of a big hug, a safe place to lay their head down if only for a few seconds.
Many of us who work with children have the desire to chase all the harm away from every child we see. If only that were possible.
I guess what makes me saddest is the children I meet who cannot give up the hope that their mom or dad is somehow going to show up back in their life and take them home again.
In many cases, the kids can’t even give you a clue as to where home really is. They have moved around and lived in so many places and often are in one shelter or another.
That abandoned feeling can destroy a child from the inside out. Then the endless attempts to contact the biological parents, only to make an arrangement for child visitation and the parent not show, does even more harm to the child’s soul.
They feel forced to make up reason after reason why mom or dad didn’t make it to see them. To me this is needless torture. I think the parents should arrive there and we should then be asked to bring the child for visitation. It would keep the children from being let down so often.
As foster/adoptive parents we live in an ocean of emotion with our kids. They cry, they get angry, they feel empty and whatever they are feeling will come out at us.
When they finally go through court and after hanging on for so long to their hope that mom or dad will come rescue them from the ills of foster care, they sometimes just shut down and become bitter and angry, filled with sadness inside.
Termination of Parental Rights.
I can’t say that anything else could be as devastating to a child than having all of their hope just ripped right out from under them.
So.. emotional issues? You bet. And, they have every right to their feelings. So maybe instead of weeks and years of therapy, a time for personal healing should be given to them prior to having someone start asking “How do you feel about that?”
It takes time to nurture a broken heart back to normal life. So we as foster/adoptive parents need to provide that time and understanding to our children. We need to let them know it is ok to miss their family and to be sad or mad. We need to expect them to show feelings in not so normal ways.
Sometimes new foster parents can’t understand the complete picture of what has been lost for our kids. It takes time to learn. And, sometimes years to heal from it all.
We still have the hope…..Time can heal all things, even in children without hope. From our hearts to God’s ear.