Making A Mark

“Where’re we going, mommy?” my four year old foster son, Devon asked.
“We’re going to pick up your new foster brother, Aaron. He is going to be staying with us for a little while,” I turned to shout a little louder, “Kids, get your shoes on! Time to go.”

With that, our very large family piled in our very large car to go and increase our numbers by one more. And, as far as I was concerned, this was a cause for celebrating. It seemed that as the number of foster children we received in our home increased, so did our sense of excitement at the new challenges of making it all work.

As we got closer to our destination, I reveled in the fact that I had a few minutes to actually sit down. It had been less than a month since we had received our first foster children into our care, and it had certainly had been full of ups and downs. The first week, I had alternated between my pasted on smile during the day and tears at night. Questions ran through my mind like, “What do I think I am doing?” “Am I really adequate enough to give all these children what they need?” “Am I crazy?” And after a long day of drying tears, cleaning up messes, tripping over toys, and washing a never-ending mountain of laundry, I would think, “Has it really only been a week since they got here? It feels like forever.”

The last few days had been full and busy, and I had continued to question my abilities as a foster parent. Our foster children had been having a difficult time transitioning, and my biological children were also trying to adjust to a change in family structure, and it, many times, left me exhausted and drained.

We finally arrived and picked up Aaron. We began the drive talking As we began to drive home, Devon, whose trademark was to whisper anything that was a really important feeling, said something so quietly that we could not hear him.

“What did you say, Devon?”

“He said, ‘We can stay at home,'” my son said, trying to help.

Devon smiled shyly and said, “Nope, that’s not what I said.” He was quiet, considering whether or not to express his feelings. Finally, he decided. With a big smile on his face, he yelled, “We have a safe house!” Pride beamed from his eyes. I turned to my husband, and we both knew that we had truly made a mark in the life of this child
Helpful Links:

Commonly Asked Questions about Foster Care, from KidsPeace. This is a really good overview of Therapeutic Foster Care.
A Foster Parent? Who, Me? A great article about what to expect and what is needed to be a foster parent.
Foster Parents Online Training Excellent training for therapeutic foster parents!
For Children’s Sake The agency that we go through, based in Texas and Virginia.