Separation, Loss, and Grief was the title of the class this week so you know that there were lots of laughs and fun stories; NOT. It was a lot of heavy stuff, but because I'm the glass-is-always-full kind of girl, I saw a lot of opportunities for God's grace, goodness, and love. I took a lot of classes that dealt with these big issues back in college and even had to take a class called loss, death, and dying (it was a really uplifting class I tell ya). Why didn't anyone tell me that the boring stuff we studied in college would actually matter one day??? I might have paid more attention in class and actually read what I was supposed to. (probably not hehehe)
I could write about the loads of information we got last night about what these kids are going through, but like I said I'm not that kind of girl. I don't want to talk about all the negative stuff. Instead, I wanna talk about what our role will be in these babies lives (as of right now that's the age we feel called to foster, I hope that one day we are called to foster older kids too, but we want to always be able to adopt when needed)
50% of what we need to know for life is learned in the first year of life.
This hit me hard. My first thought was about my kids and what the heck we did that first year and if it was "right." And, then my second thought was that I'm excited that in some cases I'll be used by God to help these babies get the love and healthy attachment they have to experience and learn that first year. I'm sure that for some in the class they were freakin' out (especially those who want to only adopt) because foster kids are being taken out of their homes for a reason. I'm pretty sure it's not because healthy attachment and perfect parenting is happening.
I'm still processing what kinds of things I need to start doing to prepare my head and heart for caring for these babies. I'll need to reread a lot of material on healthy attachment, therapy play, care giving for malnourished, unattached, hurting, sometimes physically abused, and needy babies. But, for now I'm going to cling to God's perfect plan for these kids. I feel so lucky that God can and will use me and our family to help love these babies as long as they are in our home.
Next week we get to ask questions and listen to a panel of veteran foster parents. I'm very excited about that. What question would you ask?
*Last year 14% of Austin, TX kids in foster care were reunited with families, 26% were adopted, & 57% aged out with no support. 57 PERCENT!