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© Gail Underwood Parker

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Caring Heart: Dad's in Jail

Whether Dad or Mom, the reality is that many children in this country have parents who are incarcerated. Foster, kinship and adoptive parents are trying to find the path to helping those children.

Dad's in Jail

There will be no visit with Dad today.  Last night I got the call canceling the visit.  He is in jail now and will not be allowed visitation for at least a month.  In some ways I am a little relieved, but I dread the questions this little guy will ask me. Will he be heartbroken? Secretly relieved? Will he understand or be frightened or confused?  Will I be able to know what he is feeling or will he hide it deep within himself?  Help me teach him to maintain his privacy and yet be truthful when other people ask questions that put him in a social dilemma.  Help me give him a way to accept this separation without further damage to his emotional safety.  Help me allow him to feel the emotions as they come, and perhaps as much peace and acceptance as reasonable for his age.  If there comes a time when his father is allowed visitations at the jail, give me the strength to manage those circumstances.  Grant that this time of incarceration will be a time of reflection and growth for his father.  By your grace may the possibility of a better person and a better relationship with his son become reality and blessing for this child.

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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