The chance to spend special time with a child can make a memory that lasts for years.
She got a manicure today. A real one. We went to the beauty shop and got the whole works. I wanted her to experience the fun of having pretty fingernails in the hope that it may help her fight the urge to bite them again. She has worked so hard to grow them out. So many times she would be almost there. Then one morning I would notice her curling her fingers inside her palm and, sure enough, when I could catch sight they were bitten down to the quick again. I know the anxiety and emotional turmoil that keeps her biting them long after her peers have outgrown the habit. It is such a visible sign of the hurt little child inside. So let this afternoon together lift her spirits. Let these brightly colored, shaped nails give her a boost of self-confidence. If she slips, we have still had the time together. She has still had a taste of what can be. We will still have had an afternoon of sharing and celebration. Let these memories stick with her and begin to replace some of the older, tougher memories.
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.