I’ve been a therapeutic foster mom for three months now. I had every intention of documenting my experiences from the day I got my two precious girls into my home…. but the reality is: THINGS ARE JUST NOW CALMING DOWN. It’s been a whirlwind of crazy to say the least.
The first two weeks I had to focus on my little 6 yr old not running away when she got upset and started missing her birth mom. We were have 2-3 hr melt downs per day. Biting, kicking, screaming, destroying. And I’ve been trained to deal with these behaviors! I worked at an emergency placement facility for kids in foster care for a little over two years before taking on this adventure. I have deescalated a lot of children and calmed lots of little hearts that are missing their birth mommies. I was the queen of that castle! But this was an entirely different dragon. These babes are living with me at all times, testing every single part of me. Trying to push any little button that would force me to reject them.
They have been given up on so many times, sent to home after home, facility after facility, (and even a hospital or two) just to have it even more engraved in their hearts that they are unlovable.
“YOU’RE JUST GOING TO SEND ME TO LAKELAND!”
“YOU HATE ME!”
“YOU DON’T REALLY WANT ME!”
And why should I be any different in their little minds? This is what they know. This is their reality. They act up too badly, they get sent away.
Too difficult. Too hard. Too messy.
But consistency pays off. And fighting rage with peace, anxiety with understanding, and fear with love wins the war. It may not seem like it in the moment, but little ears listen. Little hearts understand. And with every consistent bedtime, every consistent meal, every consistent hug, I was (and am still) winning their trust.
Three months later, we have our routine down. They know what to expect. They know it is my job to keep them safe. They know I love them.
We still have time outs and minor melt downs, but with every moment of chaos comes small victories. Opportunities for grace. Ways to show them unconditional love. That no matter what happens, I am here. Fighting for them. With discipline. With grace. With consistency.
It’s not easy.
Oh, but it’s worth it.
…And here are my little freedom flowers now 🙂