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© Gail Underwood Parker

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Caring Heart: Compromises and Priorities

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Compromises and Priorities

Oh God, I hope I am making the right choices.  It is so very hard to know.  Other people are so willing to judge my choices.  They think I am letting her "get away with" things, that I am "giving in." They don't understand the difficult priorities I have to juggle.  Haircuts given without permission during bio-family visits, outrageous clothes they give her that I would never let her wear, yet sometimes must because they are that precious gift. Or times that I decide the issue is mild, temporary, or lower risk and I allow it because my focus is on higher priority safety issues.  Guide me through this minefield of decisions.  With my other children it has been easier to maintain the key priorities without making major compromises.  They were steeped in my standards from the day they were born.  But with this child I have to choose what to give up on or step back even important things.  Consider high school. My children always planned to finish high school. It never occurred to them not to finish.  I never had to consider compromises to keep them in school.  But with this child graduation is definitely a huge question mark.  She does not the the risks of dropping out, in fact her eyes see mostly advantages.  And since she will be eighteen long before graduation and she is not legally mine, I can't force her.  I may have to make some really tough choices if my priority is to keep her in school until graduation.  Give me the wisdom to protect her in the times and in the ways she lacks wisdom.  Guide me and support me in the right choices. 

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.

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