A blog from Jared Pacheco, our other Home Finder!
At an adoption finalization last spring, I had the privilege of witnessing the union of a family. It was a little gal I knew from a previous work-life, who wandered her way back in my direction. She found her forever home with one of the most loving, big-hearted families I have ever had the honor of knowing. Her present and future were immediately wrapped in love and were more clearly planned out, yet much her early years were lost. She bounced from home to home eight times before she landed on their doorstep. They could not tell her when she started crawling, where her first step took place, what her first word was, whether she cried or smiled on Santa’s lap for her first Christmas. It is a loss common for children in foster care. This time, however, we were in luck: she had been born at a teen living program, the program for which I previously worked. The program that was shutter-happy and took pictures as often as young moms and their babies would sit still. A call to the program on that spring day produced two photos, which the staff combed through archives to find. Only two pictures, but those pictures meant something. They meant that she would be able to see what she looked like as a baby. She would know that her first Halloween costume was a bumble bee. She would know her mother, a young lady with the best of intentions but enormous barriers, had selected that costume carefully and had beamed with delight at the sight of her in it. She will be able to look back and know that she has been loved her entire life, right from the start, and that she has mattered. Her parents will tell her the story of how she entered their home, but they will also have a piece of her history and be able to show her a small piece of her puzzle.
Topics: Foster Care, Adoption, Lifebooks
Many folks consider becoming a foster parent, but often aren’t sure if they are eligible or what will be involved. Are you one of the wondering? Well, read on for the answers to your questions!
I heard this phrase recently from a social worker. When asking about a foster family, she asked if they were a good family or just a “Three Hots and A Cot” home. The phrase startled me. There was no malice or ill-will intended, but she wanted to understand the type of home in which our child had been placed. I was able to immediately answer her back that the home was devoted, supportive, and loving to the two boys. Since hearing that phrase, though, my wheels have been turning. How do we know the difference?
They are the folks you know will answer the phone any time you call, who will drive to pick you up if your car breaks down, will bring you soup and make you tea when you are sick. We have nicknamed them within our program. We call them “2AM People.” Take a moment. Picture your person, or, if you are very fortunate, people. Who are they?
The little one-story ranch house is unassuming from the street view. What it fails to tell passers-by is that it is a place of healing. The walls are filled with artwork creations, from paintings to crayon drawings to wind chimes and sculptures made of natural elements picked up on wilderness walks. It is a cozy jumble, messy to some, but the personification of love and home to the child who lives here. Just outside the kitchen door is a healing herb garden. The child in the home walks barefoot over the stone path. She crouches and pinches off bits of lavender, rubbing the fragrant herb between her little palms. “See, when your hands get warm, the flowers smell gets stronger.” What was once a frenetic whirlwind of a child has morphed after cocooning in this warm home into a composed, resilient child. She still has moments of struggle, when her body remembers things her mind resists, when the noise and chaos of the world around her becomes too much. But after three years in the same, steadfast home, Miss A can point Little C to the garden or to a puffy chair in the living room and Little C is able to recalibrate.