“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain but also being moved to help relieve it.” – Daniel Goleman
When it comes to foster care, I used to only see the kids. I can’t say that I can fully relate to what they have gone through but my family did have a run-in with a DCS system when I was younger that left me traumatized for years. I now can see how that blip in my life opened my heart to kids in foster care in real ways. It has allowed me to see through labels put on kids and to even open up my own heart and home as a foster parent. What I didn’t understand when becoming a foster parent was how much foster parents give of themselves and of their families; their sacrifices and heartache along with the perseverance and love needed each day. In my ignorance, I didn’t understand how traumatizing it is for the birth parents to have their kids taken into custody; the long battle they have in front of them once this happens and the struggle to overcome, the struggle to watch someone else take on parenting their child, the hopelessness that can be paralyzing. I failed to see how case managers carry the weight of their jobs home with them day in and day out, each decision holding real consequences in the lives of a child and their family.
“A Day in the Life of” series has been one of my favorites to date because each person has given me nuggets of understanding and helped expand my connection to their world which, in return, has grown my compassion towards them. My hope is, by sharing a piece of their story, that they have done the same for you and others in our community. Real change happens when we connect with each other in the struggles and then do something together to make it better.
If you have been following along and are ready to get involved, I want to encourage you to connect with us. There is something for everyone and we would love to help you find the right fit for how you can get involved. True compassion is most effective when it is paired with action.
A special thank you to the writers who opened their hearts and lives to all of us through sharing their stories.
Founder and CEO Foster Arizona