Three years ago, I was just as likely as anyone else to ask the wrong question or not ask the right one. I didn’t know about the importance of attachment or what FST stood for or how the system worked.
Today I may still wonder whether the system works, but I get the nuts and bolts of what’s going on.
But a lot of people don’t. And so a lot of people ask questions about how long our foster son will be with us or why he’s in care. Questions that can’t be answered.
And then a lot of people don’t. They know they don’t know what to say when I mention a hard court date and so they don’t say anything.
In both groups genuine kindness can be found. And careless ignorance.
But that genuine kindness is worth the risk. It’s worth trying to guide others to language that has fewer barbs. Or sharing when conversation doesn’t come easily.
Not so long ago, I needed those same gentle lessons. I didn’t know what I didn’t know. Until someone helped me know.
Those in the know have a choice. We can invite others with grace, sharing the truths we have found with love. Or we can shame others with fear, daring them to risk again.
One is far more likely to help foster kids. And foster parents for that matter.
Liz Block is a creative director (not quite Don Draper) and new foster mom discovering the learning curves, joys, and struggles of motherhood and foster care all at once. Opening up her eyes and heart to far more than she ever imagined. Read more of her stories at FosteringReal.com or follow her on Facebook.