Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Focus on Fostering: Mother's Day Pitfalls
Strange advice? Who needs a warning about Mother's Day?
People who are mothering other mother's children, for starters. Not everyone, but enough that it pays to be prepared and forewarned.
Pitfalls? Mother's Day has been a veritable minefield at my house over the years. The potential explosions can come from every conceivable direction. What do I mean? Let me share a few.
--the joy I felt when given a mother's day gift by an attachment challenged child that evaporated soon after when I was asked an hour later if she could have it back to give to her so she could give it to her real mother.
--the pain of comforting a child who so desperately wanted to connect with her birth mother but had been repeatedly rejected by her.
--a child whose life with her mom had been so difficult that she refused to even say the word "mother" or writer its letters on paper in spelling class, even when that resulted in her being sent to the principal's office
--finding torn up pictures of me with my birth children, because it was so painful for her to see pictures of what she never had.
These are just a few of the mines I've stepped on. If you are an experienced foster parent you probably have your own list of land mines. If you are new to fostering, don't run away... just be prepared. You can't fix everything. Even trying sometimes makes it worse. Your feelings may get hurt. Your pride may be wounded. But keep your mind and heart open. The biggest land mine of all would be if you gave up and stopped offering your heart and your love.
Image credits: health.msn.com, tlc.howstuffworks.com