Some people might think I am being a little extreme when I say we should really try to fulfill foster youths’ needs with new things. Well, I will do my best to explain why this could make all the difference for these young men and women.
Imagine a 6-year-old little girl. She has two younger siblings; they are 3 and 1. She goes to school every day and is in the first grade. She loves playing with dolls and all things sparkly. Her clothes are tattered and they smell of smoke and must. When she gets home from school her “chores” await her. She changes diapers, gets bottles, prepares dinner, and tries to clean up the house. This is all while her parents are so loaded they have no idea what is going on; when they happen to be more aware, they are usually fighting.
One night things get out of control, the neighbors call law enforcement who arrive with a social worker in tow. The social worker takes the children to the office and starts making phone calls to find a foster home. They find a home for the 1 and 3 year old, but they can’t take the 6 year old, too. The children are separated. You see, in the world of foster care 6 is old.
So fast forward a few years. The biological parents are unable to reunify with their children, the 1 and 3 year old siblings have been adopted together, but the sweet 6 year old is now 8 and has lived in 4 different homes. With every move she sinks deeper into herself. She wonders why no one loves her. Is she unlovable? She starts trying to cause the rejection in new homes. Almost like trying to rip the band-aid off hoping it won’t hurt so badly the next time someone gives up on her.
So there you have it: an 8-year-old little girl who feels as though no one will ever love and that all she is worth is second best. At this point, she will likely continue to bounce from home to home. Growing up in foster care, never feeling like she has a place to call home.
What would it mean to this sweet girl if someone came into her life and handed her something new? A pair of pants she looked at, but felt she wasn’t worth. Those beautiful boots. Or that trendy jacket. What if we treated her as we did our own children and instead of cleaning out our closets of unwanted, out-of-date clothing, we got her something new. Something she desired.
That is why I believe it is so important to buy foster youth new things. Things they desire no matter how silly we may think it seems. Many of these children have never been given something new their whole life. So when you hear a 16-year-old girl in foster care is asking for Doc Martins, don’t brush it off and say she should be happy with whatever she gets. Think about the sweet girl who has been rejected so many times that she feels unlovable.
The simple act of something new can make a difference for a child who may feel unlovable.
Hi! My name is Anastasia Stone I am a wife and mother of 3 beautiful children. Two are tummy babies and one was born in my heart and became part of our family through the foster care system. After almost 8 years of marriage, we are enjoying our crazy ride with the LORD navigating the foster care system and loving little ones! We currently live in northern California. Read more of Anastasia’s blog posts.