While most often true when a new child arrives in a foster, kinship or adoptive home, questions can come up at any time, with or without specific cause.
Answers for the Questions
Questions. Questions. Questions. Lord, why is it that people can be so insensitive, so clueless, so unsympathetic as they ask questions of this young child? How can they expect a child to explain why they are here with me and not with their own parents? Can't these people understand what pain this situation causes, how cruel it is to remind them of that pain by asking these questions? Move me from the paralyzing anger at the questions and give me the wisdom to provide helpful answers. Help me develop answers to give this child to use, scripts to fill in the awkward pauses, to respond to invasive questions, without increasing the awkwardness and the isolation. Answers that are the truth, yet respectful of this child's right to privacy. Honest answers that do not shame the child or force the child to shame the parents. Give the child courage to deal with questions and the choice to answer or not. Give the people who meet this child the wisdom to think before asking painful questions. Give me the wisdom. Give me the words to give this child. Give the world wisdom.
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.