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.
“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?”
“Because I was mad!”
“What color is that memory?”
“Can you tell me the shape of your memory?”
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.”
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.