The foster parent support groups and this extended community have been great for me. A place to come, share my thoughts, and get support or ideas from others.
We’re lesbians–we spend an inordinate amount of time processing things. Our friends and family are not all like us. (Thank God.) They don’t know how much time we spend trying to see things from other points of view, namely our future child’s, and how much time we spend imagining different scenarios.
One of my favorite phrases from foster parent training has been “protecting their heart.” As in, when people (your spouse, your parents, the child, whoever) does something that hurts you, often they are just protecting their heart.
We chose this–not them. We chose to welcome children into our homes, knowing that they might leave. We chose to make our home a safe space for children who have not had a safe past. Our families did not choose this. It’s all new territory for them.
Having conflicted feelings about this unusual way to create family is normal. I know that our families are protecting their hearts. I want to respect where they are. But, it hurts. And, my own mama bear is starting to come out–these are MY little ones you’re talking about. I need to protect their hearts.
I wish there were more support groups for grandparents, uncles, friends, of those who choose to do foster care. A place to gain the support that we have found to be so helpful.
Has anyone found anything?