When I had Kate, the days following were pretty rough. I was on an emotional roller coaster from the hormones that I later learned was a bout of postpartum depression. In the morning, I would be bawling my eyes out to my mother-in-law. She would call people in the meantime. By the time the SOS was sent out and my other family members would call to console me, I would be back to my chipper old self. Needless to say, being around me in this state was a trying time for all.
Well, I compare our first foster placement to this experience. I call it post placement depression. When receiving the news that we would be getting 4 children, my emotions ran the full gamut of the spectrum of emotions. On the first full day alone, I was empowered and torn down, manic and depressive, thrilled and doomed. I chalked it up to the first day- but each following day has given me the same range of emotion. While it is difficult to feel all these emotions in a 24 hour period, I call it blessed. How grateful I am to receive these feelings so as to better understand the children placed with us.
This sweet spirits are victims of their environment.
They are survivors.
They fight a good fight and hopefully, with nurturing will come out on top.
I think that one blessing that really stands out in this situation is their potential.
I have been given the gift to see what these children can be.
What they can accomplish.
And what they have to offer.
Hopefully I can help them cultivate all the good parts about them, the innate goodness that has been placed in each of the human race. That's really what I think being a foster parent is all about. Providing a safe environment for these children to blossom into their best selves, without any judgement.
I had only spent three days with our foster children when I went into the school office to update the contact info. When I walked in, the staff present were talking about the kids placed in my care. They did not know I was the foster mother. The way they chose to discuss this family made me bristle. It seemed there was just such harsh judgement placed on them. It made my heart hurt. No one deserves judgement. We are all fighting a hard battle. Even the birth parents in this situation made mistakes to get their children removed. It will never be my place to judge them. Ever.
My hope is that just like my postpartum depression faded away, the same will happen with this time around. Already, the downs are less severe and the ups are that much more sweet. To hear these children pray for their parents brings me joy. I pray for them too. To see them smile and laugh and joke brings warmth. I know it will all work out and I know to whom I turn for strength.