Everyone loves a comeback. But it’s easy to forget that you can’t have a comeback without first having a setback. A failure.
No one is immune from setbacks. Even someone who achieved as much as Abraham Lincoln faced his share of failures. From 1832-58, he racked up a litany of setbacks, including failing at business twice, suffering a nervous breakdown, and lost two political seats as well as a bid for vice president. But that’s not what people remember him for, not by a long shot. In 1860, Lincoln staged the ultimate comeback and became our 16th president, and went on to essentially keep the country together during the Civil War.
We can use each fall to propel us forward.
We all get knocked down in this life, but it is how we get up that is important. That sets up the comeback. Do we rise being resentful or with a new understanding? Do we gain our footing confused or wiser? Do we stand up weak or stronger? We set the tone when we rise, and we can use each fall to propel us forward.
Becoming part of a family’s story at one of the most difficult times of their lives means jumping feet first and eyes wide open into “Setback Central!” The question then becomes what tone will you set, how will you get back up when, for instance, angry birth parents lash out at you, or when challenging trauma behaviors exhaust you or when the endless delays of an overworked court system frustrate you.
This is supposed to be hard
For starters, we can acknowledge that this is supposed to be hard! As Tom Hanks said in A League Of Their Own, “It is supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great!” So we fit that rescheduled court date in our calendars and show up prepared to speak. We don’t take the angry birth parents’ words personally. The exhausting trauma behaviors are met with love and understanding about the place from which they come.
We regroup, we rise, and we show the world the greatest comeback ever – day after day, week after week and child after child.
– Betsy DuKatz, licensed foster parent
Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Community Services recruits, trains and provides support services for foster families. The need for foster parents in Wisconsin is great. Contact us to receive information about becoming a foster or adoptive parent, or visit our website to learn more.