I must apologise, I am not usually one for graphs, in fact the mere sight of them makes me go cross-eyed. I won’t do it again I promise 😉
Before I got into foster care this was one of my burning questions and I have people ask me about the background of the children all the time. For obvious reasons around confidentiality, I can’t get into the reasons why my foster children are living with me but I can talk about these things in general terms.
Abuse takes many forms and many might argue that the monstrosities I often dish up for dinner is child abuse! In fact some of my meals deserve a pie chart all of their own 🙂 On a more serious note though, it is devastating to hear some of the stories of these children placed in care. Stories of physical abuse and children being left alone for days on end without food or knowing when their parents would return and I am talking about children under the age of 3 or 4. It’s hard not to judge the parents sometimes but it’s important not to. They’ve often got themselves tangled up in substance abuse and somewhere along the line their priorities have got all mixed up.
As a carer you also see the effect of emotional abuse on children. They are so damaged and fragile when they first show up to live with you. I had a little girl who, whenever I packed a little treat in her lunch box for school, would bring it back. After weeks of this I asked her why. Her response tore my heart out. She assumed that such special things couldn’t possibly have been intended for her and so dutifully returned them each day.
The great news is that you see almost immediately the difference you are making in these young lives. You have the privilege of watching them blossom before your very eyes. Show me a job in all God’s earth that provides you with that level of gratification. More about this in future posts!