To all the foster parents that I judged for treating your foster children differently than your biological children, based on some casual observation, I am sorry. I didn’t know.
I vowed that any child who lived in our house would be treated as part of the family. The same as any other child. If it was Christmas, all kids would get presents. If it was back to school shopping time, all kids would get clothes.
I didn’t know that my child would insist on wearing the same three-sizes too big shorts tied with a piece of nylon four days a week, despite having clothes that fit and a belt. I didn’t think about the clothes that get “lost”, cut apart, torn, and the sheer power struggles.
I didn’t think about the hole I would bite in my tongue, watching my daughter at the doctor, nervously shredding the applique off of her pants with her fingernails.
I didn’t think about the normal pre-teen power struggles over hair, clothes, and food, multiplied because these are some of the few things she can control.
I didn’t think about the lessons we are trying to teach our children. That money doesn’t grow on trees. That when you are not responsible you need to earn a new pair of shoes or water bottle.
We tell ourselves, “this is only temporary.” In a year or two, hopefully she will feel more comfortable here.
And then the puberty hormones will hit.