Saturday, August 4, 2012

A note to families who have foster AND birth family members

Today as I was driving home from my mother's after we had a lovely campfire, I couldn't help but notice the sense of reassurance and calm I had.  My mom was there, my "foster" grandmother was there, and my "foster sister was there.  Being able to share that moment with members from both my families is so integral to me.  When I rush around and my families are separate, I feel in someway separated and broken as well.  So here is a note to families who have foster and birth family members.

Dear special blended families,

Here I am a nearly adult of 25 years old, and I finally was able to but pen to paper about why I advocate that Resource families and Birth Families work together.  It really does reassure the child, in ways they may not be able to articulate.  I have been articulating the needs of youth for a very long time.  I knew what it was they needed, but often am not able to say why. 

When a youth is in care, it is necessary for them to feel a part of some one's family, to find that connection and to feel permanent.  They yearn for their birth parent, but it is hard not to begin to feel connected at some point to these newer faces in their lives.  This is part of their family picture.  They may have had to cut and paste faces onto it, and they may have had to scratch some faces out.  However, when foster families and birth families do not communicate, or do not accommodate the child's new family, the child's picture becomes torn a part.  Once again, they are left reshuffling, reconfiguring the family picture.  Try and imagine how that may feel.  My weekends home sometimes, leave me feeling winded and drained!  I have to find time to connect and spend with my birth family, and my resource family!  While this is a blessing in many many ways, I am one person with one family, and another with the ladder.  I want to feel whole, and I want my family to be cohesive.

So tonight, while not all members of either family were there, it was fun to have everyone joking around and connecting.  And I feel much more assured and confident because of it. 

Thank you for the support you give to our youth, even in difficult times. 

- Babs <3 br="br">

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