This year has brought out a trauma response in adults all over the world. I can’t tell you how many behaviors I’ve seen in adults this year that I typically only see in the foster littles that walk through my door – & If I’m going to be honest, I’ve seen it in myself as well.
I’ve seen the hoarding of cleaning supplies. The overcompensation to make sure everything is as perfect as I can make it, knowing full well that something is bound to go wrong. The sleepless nights of bad dreams that I can’t even explain. But even more, I see the effect that this year has caused in my life on the days I find myself unwilling to get out of bed, thinking, “why even put effort into today because no matter how hard I try, there won’t ever be any good that comes of this year.” This year has made me frustrated & angry, but most of all it’s made me only think of me. Me, me me: & that’s where my mind was until four weeks ago, when a phone call told me that a little girl needed me to make my single minded thinking a thing of the past.
Four days later, a fiery seven year old walked in my front door & in so many ways my life got harder. I’ve answered five thousand questions, said “no” eight hundred times & begged her to eat her dinner over a million. Even still, her presence here has brought a light with it that makes all those hard moments worth it.
Foster care goes deep – QUICK. On night one we learned about her past trauma. We cringed at the words coming through the phone speaker. I looked at my fiancé’ with the most shocked, yet sorrowful, eyes as the stories continued. We treaded lightly the next few days, careful not to be too strict or fuss too much knowing what she has endured. What I saw in return was a little girl who knows too much pain, yet in her eyes there’s a spark. It’s a spark as if she knows that tides can turn in her life, & she fully believes that they will. For me, that’s what makes this journey through foster care beautiful. It’s that little spark in the middle of an incredibly dark road. Sassy’s life is not magically healed because she entered the system. I know she’s far from complete healing, but the light behind her eyes is a reminder that change, growth, & transformation is possible for her life – & for my own.
What I saw in return was a little girl who knows too much pain, yet in her eyes there’s a spark. It’s a spark as if she knows that tides can turn in her life, & she fully believes that they will.
I’ve seen transformation through foster care many times before & I am believing in complete healing for Sassy & her family. Trauma & neglect cause PHYSICAL changes to a child brain, but the amazing part is that with consistency, love & neutering, those physical effects can be completely reversed.
We don’t know how long she will be here, but I promise that I will fight for that restoration every day she is with us. This journey is HARD. It leaves me exhausted & literally covered in muck – but in a way that only foster care can do, I feel this shift of focus is reminding me that life can heal even after it breaks. If you too feel like you’re in the middle of a dark road/year, think about the spark in Sassy’s eyes (I wish I could show them to you). If a tiny 7 year old, who’s been through more than I have in my 30 years, can hold onto hope for healing, then so can we. Transformation is possible & I am becoming a believer that there will in fact be “good that comes of this year.”
but in a way that only foster care can do, I feel this shift of focus is reminding me that life can heal even after it breaks.
Even though I’ve done more laundry lately than I would care to do, her tiny self is making a difference in this house. Her presence here is helping us usher in a season of change. Her presence reminds us that no matter how dark it gets, healing can still happen. We are holding out for healing.