Everytime a new child arrives, a foster parent is confronted with all the losses the child has faced. The challenge to help the child grieve and start to heal can seem mountainous. This is from the "Milestones" section of the book.
How do I help him grieve? He has lost his family. He has lost the school he attended, the friends he knew, the familiar neighborhood, his clothes and toys. Oh, they may get some of his toys an clothes to him, but who knows if or when they will. Yes, our home is undoubtedly a safer, warmer home. It has food and lights and even extra toys and clothes. And nothing to put him at risk. But regardless of what his home was like, it WAS his home. It is all that is familiar to him and it is all gone. Maybe for a while. Maybe forever. But for now, it is all gone. New walls, new smells, new bed, new people, everything is new for him. All that he has known is lost. How do I help him cope. How do I help him understand that it is okay to be sad about all that is lost? And, if he doesn't let that loss show, how do I still help him with the grief buried inside? He has lost it all. Whatever it was or wasn't, it was everything he had. Be with him, Lord. And be with me.
Excerpted from "The Caring Heart Speaks: Meditations for foster, kinship, and adoptive parents" by Gail Underwood Parker Artwork by Anna Parker David from the book cover.