Now some of you reading this might not be fostering yet, so this may not apply thus far, but my hope is that there is still something for you to glean through my encouragement of those who’ve previously tossed their hats in the ring.
So my family has been on this road of crushing heartbreak and overwhelming joy for about 10 years now. Which means for 10 years we’ve been living with trauma, learning about trauma, experiencing our own trauma learning about healing, and experiencing a degree of healing…and above all else, I’d say, we’ve realized that we all have our own issues to work through…and through all this learning and experiencing, I have met so many amazing people.
And because of that, I must say that I am completely humbled and honored to get to share my encouragement in this space. I have to admit that I often feel completely unqualified to be the one encouraging you in this post, but honestly maybe that’s the reason I’m doing this…not simply for you, but also for myself; I feel encouraged when I encourage others.
Now, I’m not going to lie: things in our household are not always fantastic. Such is often the case with parenting, and especially parenting trauma. It is hard…sometimes REALLY hard…and that can mean tension under your roof.
But regardless of how hard things are, I know each one of you is pouring out of yourself in many ways to support other people, so I want to take a few minutes to encourage you in the ways you support and inspire others.
Now all that said…I’m not sure what it is that you need to hear, but what I really wanted to talk about is the importance OF support.
And while many of you on this journey have the same over-arching scenario going on under your roofs, you are probably all at different places in your journey, which…thankfully brings a richness and depth to a support relationship. If you were all in the same spot, you couldn’t always give hope and encouragement that others might need. And this variety brings with it an understanding unlike that of those who are on the outside of this circus.
Regardless of where you are on this journey, it can feel like walking a fine line…as you both receive and offer support. Sometimes a relationship is symbiotic…I personally find that those relationships are often with people who are close to the same place as me (this can be in terms of the case progress, medical or emotional needs of a child, etc).
Other support relationships might come from those ahead…you can look ahead and see potential issues, trials, pitfalls or have the benefit of learning from others’ mistakes.
For those coming up behind, you can impart the wisdom you’ve learned through your undoubtedly-many mis-steps (because it’s that way for everyone!), and at the same time encourage them to keep fighting the good fight.
So…this circle of support which I hope you’ve been able to carve out for yourself (and if not, PLEASE reach out to Firefly Foster Care…they will help connect you with people who will gladly encourage and support you!), the people who get it, the people who understand…you are the one who can step into the stories of others and help provide some of the unattainable things that we really need.
In spite of the fact that each one of you is overworked, overreached, overextended, overwhelmed…you are the ones that are giving back…and not just to children from hard places…but to other foster and adoptive moms of kids from hard places. You give in a way that no one else can.
I see you.
I see each one of you.
I may not know you personally, but I know you are there; I see the work you are putting in.
Not just putting in: Pouring in…not just using a little dropper. It is a lot.
No one else may really be saying that to you. But I just want you to know that you are seen, you are loved, and appreciated and valued.
I know you are amazing, and don’t deflect the compliment (because I know you’re prone to do that!). Even though I might not know each one of you, or your personal story or your struggle, I do love each one of you for the heart you have to pour out for those who need it.