I chuckle at the name of this post because my best friend growing up, and I used this word through middle school and high school over and over in numerous phrases; but, “I love your face,” has so much meaning in our life right now.
“What made you decide?”
I have tried to answer the question numerous times, but there is no “short version” (as my Dad would call it, when we were growing up) so here goes the long version:
I am excited and baffled at how many people, in these 7 short months of waiting, have told me, we have thought about “that,” we have discussed “that.” And “that” is why my friends have not taken steps to go anywhere after their discussion to foster or adopt.
I understand there are so many unknowns with kids of trauma (hence my next post- “research”). Once you put a face to the word “that,” heartstrings are pulled even harder.
Several faces that led us to answering the above question: Brian and I would have started our family with adoption due to a little face that I fell in love with through tutoring. She had missed 50+ days of kindergarten and was removed from her home for obvious reasons and more. Brian was ready to move forward with me, though never met her. I knew then that the idea to foster or adopt was not stopping with this little face. Brian has a heart of gold. He is not intimidated by the hard stuff or baggage that kids of trauma carry with them, causing many people to stop their discussion of “that.”
Other faces: I’ll never forget balling my eyes out on the shoulder of a dear friend when my first student was removed from his family, and taken from my classroom by DFCS at school. She said to me, “Lori, he is safe now. This is not his worst day, but the beginning of his road to a better life.” I could see his little face (and the faces of his siblings whom I had never met) in my dreams, nightmares, and lying in bed awake, thinking about what they had gone through, in the weeks after saying goodbye to him. There would be a several students follow him into or out of the care of DFCS, during my years teaching. Their faces will randomly pop into my head and I wonder how they are, or if their roads of life are any easier.
Last year, our boys were old enough to understand what foster care meant so we decided to volunteer at an amazing place Goshen Valley. We knew a boy who lived there and decided to continue volunteering and visiting him so that he could have a connection outside of the ranch. This “face” (relationship) pushed Brian and I to attend the informational meeting held at our county last March (2016) to gather information on becoming foster parents. We made numerous excuses as to why the upcoming IMPACT trainings, through our county DFCS, did not fit into our schedule. Then, another face…
We have known another little friend in care for over 2 years. He has crossed our path several times, call it fate, call it God’s plan. We know his face, his strong, playful personality. We know he has similar interests to our biological children, we know he wouldn’t disrupt our birth order, we know we already feel connected, and we know his little face is in desperate need of a forever family. We have requested for this sweet boy to be transferred to our home. We are ready to love him, understand him, and keep him…forever.
***We interrupt this blog post for a soapbox moment: There are NO open foster homes in our county. “Our kids” are being sent as far as South Georgia to find placement. I do not think every family has the tools…yet…to become a foster family or adopt a child of trauma, but every family can volunteer or donate to children who are in need. According to the U.S. department of health and human services, there are over 430,000 children in foster care. Visit this link to find out more information on how your family can help: https://www.hhs.gov/blog/2017/05/09/empowering-caregivers-strengthening-families.html Find a face, program, or non-profit to connect with, or due to busy schedules donate your resources. I get it…there is always the “we have discussed ‘that’,” but once you see their little faces, you will see how much need the children in our communities have. ***End soapbox moment.***