irumeur..., Raising birth children/adoptive children/foster children and CASA children
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irumeur…

Foster Care/Adoption.  A fellow blogger and adoptive mom, posted about the Care for Disrupted Families in adoption.

You can read the article at: http://hypervigilant.org/2016/03/10/care-for-disrupted-families/comment-page-1/

It has been seven years since our daughter came home.  She just turned 7 years-old.  I’d only been fostering for a few months, when we were notified about our girl.  Because of the trauma she’d already suffered, I wanted to help her find peace in a world of disruption, displacement and dismissal.  This was not an easy task.  How can anyone make this okay?

Still, it was my job -and I was determined.  So, I thought I would share with you -hopefully potential adoptive parents, one of the tricks in my bag -that really made a difference.  I won’t tell you what happened in my daughters world, or the things that were revealed through this process -but I will give you the tools to make it work for you.

Each night at bedtime, we would sit and talk about our day.  Maybe we would read, I always love to read children’s books.  With each of the children in our home, I would go through this process -one by one.

I would pull out my imaginary box of balloons.  Inside this box would be any and every balloon they could imagine.

I explained (in the very beginning) that we were going to search through our memories and find those we want to keep forever.

“Baby, what is a memory we should keep?”

“I remember when I would get tired, and my daddy would pick me, placing me on his shoulders.”

“What color was that memory, baby?”

“Green, with purple circles.”

“What shape of a balloon do you want?” I’d ask.

“Square.”

“Okay, let me see if I have a green balloon with purple circles -that is square.”  I always repeated what they said to me -to make sure they knew I was listening.  You have to value what your children say.

While they waited, I would pretend to rummage around in my balloon box, and then get excited when I found the perfect one.  Their eyes would light up every time.  You have to place this balloon up to your mouth and blow hard.  Repeat until it is the perfect size.  Then you tie the end, put on a string and hand them the balloon.  (Your child may eventually want to do this process for themselves, after watching you a few times.)

‘Now, here is a piece of tape. (again, imaginary) tape this balloon to your headboard, and then we can keep it forever.”

“Now, we need to find a memory we don’t want to keep, and let’s let that one go.  Can you tell me a memory you don’t want to keep?”

“I asked my friend to play with me on the playground today, and she went off and played with another girl.”

“That wasn’t a very nice memory.  Did you ask the two girls if you could play with them?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“Because I was mad!”

“What color is that memory?”

“Black.”

“Can you tell me the shape of your memory?”

“A bat!”
Again, you must rummage around in your box and pull out the bat shaped black balloon.  Now, this balloon will be set free, so you must place the end over your helium and make a weird sound of the balloon filling up with the gas.  Tie it, put a string on it, and then hand it to your child.

“Okay, we are going to let the memory of your friend not playing with you at school today, go.  Baby, let your balloon go.”

The child lets go of the balloon and you both look up watching it leave.  “Wave by, baby.”

“Bye.”

Both of you must say ‘good-bye’ to the memory.

Acknowledging the good and bad memory is important.  However, you can never be angry with any answer they give -it is a process that should not hold against them, or as something to criticize.  What ever it is they need to keep or give up -you’ve got to support.

Be prepared, I think… to hear things you do not want to know.

Hope it helps.  God bless to all who foster and/or adopt.

 

 

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I am a mother of 16 children and grandchildren. Some of them are by blood and the rest by heart. I was a foster mom for a few years and the children I cared for during that time have mostly stayed with me through the years. I love to write, read, dance, paint, and play with my animals. I enjoy dressage riding and just being in the barn. My words are my gift, as they allow you to know me as I really am. Thanks for joining me on this ride of life!

8 Comments

  1. Reblogged this on Hypervigilant.org and commented:
    This is such a great idea. I’ll be”stealing” this one to try with our kids. Honestly, I’m not sure if they’ll be too old for the balloon part (since baby girl reminds me daily that she’s “only” seven years from being 18 and is therefore almost an adult). I may find myself surprised, though, because I think choosing the color of the memory will appeal to them both.

    The overall concept is FABULOUS. I think it might work well for getting all kids (not just adopted) to talk about feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey, I reblogged this (and not just because you referenced mine, ha). It’s a fabulous idea. Do you have more foster/adoption stories? I didn’t see that listed in the categories…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t at this time. You inspired me to remember this trick -as it truly works. I will search through this old brain and come up with more. Maybe I will start a category so it is easy to find. Thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Now that the girls are teenagers -I keep asking myself, “Why did I start over?” I have a 38 year old daughter and a 35 year old son -you’d think once was enough. However, I would start over and have just as much fun (even through the hard times) and love it.

        Liked by 1 person

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