Foster Parent

It’s hard to be a foster kid…

Somedays it is just super hard to be a foster kid. Yesterday was one of those days. To read a little backstory go here https://viewfromthebeachchair.com/ptsd-in-foster-kids/.  Yesterday was one of those days where the suitcase came open.

It all started when she woke up.  I could tell she was tired.  She was not grouchy or unhappy.  She just woke up hard.  You know the look.  Sits up…hard to open eyes….has to move slowly.  She was very groggy but happy.  I knew she was up way too late for some reason the night before!  Move through the day to school.  Today was chapel and the speaker spoke of fears and how we have not been called to be fearful.  Miss Johanna spoke about overcoming fears.  I think this stirred something in her.  Perhaps something from her past?  She has always been afraid of the dark.  She sleeps with ALL lights on in her room.  Which is fine.  She likes to have lights on when we are downstairs and hanging out as a family.  Small accommodation to make.  Her teacher came to me (I teach at the same school) and shared that Little Girl was crying at recess.  She was afraid of the Dark Spirit coming to hurt her friends.  I guess the wind was blowing?  This has been a reoccurring thought in her head.   We are pretty strict with what she watches but in her earlier years, her bio parents would let her watch all sorts of zombie gory horror movies.  I think this has stayed with her. So today for some reason it was with her.  I popped in to check on her and to bring her dry socks.  Hers got wet at recess.  As I was putting them on I could see her melting down.  Irrational fears, unstoppable tears.  In the hallway, I pulled her into my lap and tried to console her.  Offer some words to bring her back to reality.  Was not going to happen so I did the only thing I could do.  I withdrew her from class for the day and brought her to my classroom.  I tucked her into my nest chair with my laptop and a movie.  She spent the last hour and a half of school tucked close by content to just be.  She would have fallen asleep I am sure except the fire alarms were being tested and would go off every 5 minutes….but that is another story.  

Some would say I was too easy on her and should have booted her back to class to stick it out.  Some days I do that.  Kiss on the head and toss her back in.  Today was not one of those days.  First of all, she was tired.  Life is hard enough but when you are tired it just adds a whole new dimension.  Second of all, I recognized the talk in chapel stirred up some emotions she could not put a name to.  Fear, anxiety, sadness?   Who knows?  But I do know her enough to see it in her.  As adults, we have the vocabulary to express our need.  A need for a mental health day.  A need for a staycation.  A need to take a timeout.  Children, especially ones from a traumatic background, don’t always have the words.   Her needs at that moment were simple.  She needed to be in close proximity to me.  She needed to not be with her classmates.  She simply needed to just tap out.

We were able to do her missed work at home after dinner.  She was rational.  Happy to learn.  She is only in 1st grade so it was easy to do.  She was able to breeze right through it.  My husband and I try to keep life as normal as possible for her but we also realize life is not predictable and can sometimes be messy.  When we signed on to foster and soon adopt her we realized that the good comes with the hard.  With creativity and flexibility, we can make it through those hard days.

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32 Comments

  1. First of all, I want to say a big thank you for being the kind of foster parents I wish every foster kid had! I was in the foster care system for a short time as a kid back in the 80’s and while I got very lucky, most kids weren’t so lucky. It’s a real struggle to find really good people such as yourself to take in kids, let alone actually take the time to understand what the child is going through. I deeply respect you for your choice to help this beautiful little girl. With your help, she will get through this. We need more people like your in the world:) #FamilyFunLinky

    1. beachchairtracy

      Thank you for those kind words! We are blessed to have her. She is a tough egg and super spunky! I can’t wait to see how she is going to storm the world and make it better. I am glad to hear your story had a happy ending!

  2. I agree with Michelle what you are doing is amazing, full of such love! You will make such a positive impact on her life as I know she will on yours. #thesatsesh

  3. You sound like an absolutely amazing mum. I remember when I was in secondary school I would have days where I was really low and just wanted to cry but had no understanding of why. My mum never questioned these emotions or told me to get on with it. One look and she just sort of knew and would tell me to stay home from school that day. It wasn’t something I ever abused and I always caught up in class but I really needed those days and will be forever grateful for her understanding, I don’t know of any other parents who did that.
    Thank you for joining #FamilyFunLinky x

    1. beachchairtracy

      I am super excited. We are about 3 weeks away from adoption so I will be able to help her navigate this crazy life!

  4. You are doing such a wonderful job and your foster daughter is lucky that she was taken into such a gentle and understanding family. Some days are difficult for anyone but when you’re bring the trauma that you’re charge is bringing with her to her day’s then allowing her that time and space to process it all is so important. #thesatsesh

  5. It sounds like you have a lovely understanding for your little girl and her feelings. I agree with the comments above in wishing that more foster parents were as loving and caring, especially for children who might display difficult behaviours as a result of things they’ve been through previously. #mg

  6. I am so glad you will soon be officially her mum, she is so blessed to have you guiding her and taking the time to truly be what she needs. You are so lucky to have this wonderful child in your life xx Thank you for joining #mg linky

  7. What a beautiful story! I have often thought about fostering a child or adopting one. You are making a difference in a very special way. Thanks for sharing on Traffic Jam Weekend. You are my featured fave for the party going live this Thursday at 5:00 pm CST.

    1. beachchairtracy

      Wow. Thank you for making me the feature! It is an honor! She is a great little girl and has overcome a lot!

  8. […] chose It’s hard to be a foster kid… by View From the Beach Chair. “This deeply personal post exudes love, comfort, and […]

    1. You are truly amazing. Yes its tough from both sides for a foster parent as well as foster kid. But your journey is something to be respected.

  9. What a wonderful story & love that you’re able to give back & more important, give her what she needs. Thank you

  10. Marko

    Totally agree , what are you doing is wonderful , can’t even imagine what little girl is going through .

  11. You truly are an amazing mom! This child is so blessed and lucky to have you in her life.

  12. WOW. Learned so much from this and honestly, you are doing such an amazing job. Keep it my dear.

  13. Amanda J

    I think you’re doing a wonderful job! My husband and I are considering fostering children. Such a big, but important job! Keep on doing what you’re doing!

  14. Hugs to you and to her! What a blessing that you are present in each others lives. There is so much empathy and understanding in this post. If only there were more people who were able to see the unspoken needs of children.

  15. This is a heartwarming story. I wish that every child would have such a caring family.

  16. It’s interesting how we choose to let things we watch/see affect us. Obviously, the younger we are, the more impressionable we are as well. Hopefully, she realizes that dark spirits, etc are not constantly surrounding us and she can try and enjoy life as opposed to fear it!

  17. Lavern Moore

    I can’t imagine what it’s like to be a foster kids. I do know that I very much enjoy the success stories that I hear from the foster kids who have made it for themselves despite the circumstances.

  18. Your foster kid is lucky to have you as her parent! You handled this situation with grace and empathy. I hope tomorrow is a better day for her.

  19. My best friend is getting ready to start her foster steps. I am too thinking about it. It is such a huge decision.

  20. awhh bless her – hug her big !!!

  21. Catherine Santiago Jose

    I feel so much love while reading this article. She is so lucky for having you as her parent, may God bless you in everyday of your lives.

  22. twinspirational

    It was really nice of you to be a foster parent. For some people, it’s kinda hard to love a child who is not their own. But you are definitely not one of them. God bless you and your husband.

  23. Brandy

    This is such a refreshing post to read. The internet is filled with articles and posts about fashion, beauty, etc…this really touched my heart. I would love to be a foster parent but we just do not have the house space for more kids. We have 4 of our own in a tiny house. Thanks for all you are doing to provide joy and love in the world.

  24. You are an amazing and caring person who looks after their foster children. I really want to adopt someday and hope to be a great mom like you!

  25. Dalene Ekirapa

    You’ll definitely make it through! What’s so important about foster care is understanding because it is what ensures you all bond well and at no time can the kid feel left out. Keep on winning! That’s awesome!

  26. It sounds like, despite how difficult is, you guys are the type of foster parents are really there for your foster kids, and for that I really commend you. Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.

  27. I cannot even imagine what being a foster is like. Saying a prayer for both of you today.

  28. […]  I not only posted the party late I forgot to submit the one I chose as a feature.   I chose It’s Hard To Be A Foster Kid by A View From The Beach Chair. The post really resonated with me as  a big part of my absence […]

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