In foster care there are so many things that are unknown; the children who walk through the door as strangers coming from families you have never met or, in contrast, someone you may have known their whole life, wondering whether a child you have grown to love will stay forever or be safe returning home, or wondering if you are strong enough- even simply enough- for the child(ren) you have been entrusted.
In contrast, there are things in foster care that are known or become known once you open the door and, even more so, your heart; like how it feels to love someone so much knowing you may say goodbye and never see them again, watching a child struggle through trauma and knowing that you do not hold the ability to make it better, or embracing a birth parent that has tried so hard yet has recently fallen off the wagon. You get to know what it is like to watch a child blossom and overcome, what it means to have them hold your hand and take a step towards trusting your love. You get to experience the first time they see a sibling after separation or a mom’s eyes light up when their baby comes in the room for a visit. You see that, despite the hard, there is still beauty. It is not because of the hard that people stay involved in foster care. It is because they are able to hold onto the moments of beauty that remind them that the hard is worth the journey.
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing stories from foster care that authentically lay out what the hard is like from those who have experienced it first hand as well as the beauty. Our hope is that you will be able to connect to each of them not because of the role they play but simply through connecting to their humanness. Daniel H. Pink said, “Empathy is about standing in someone else’s shoes, feeling with his or her heart, seeing with his or her eyes. Not only is empathy hard to outsource and automate, but it makes the world a better place.”
Founder/CEO Foster Arizona