We can all agree that we are much harder on ourselves than anyone else. We strive for perfection in our society, for getting it right the first time every time, and this only causes us to be critical of ourselves. What we often overlook is how much we are getting right and how many times we have succeeded.
Foster parents are no exception and oftentimes feel the most unsuccessful. They don’t stop to realize that they are caring for some of the most vulnerable, traumatized and challenging children. With each child who comes into the home, foster parents build a new skill set specific to that child. In addition to meeting the unique needs of the child, foster parents then extend themselves to the child’s biological parents. This in turn requires yet another skill set to be built, to meet the needs of the parents, who many times are not much past being children themselves.
Foster parents go above and beyond in so many ways — writing notes and letters for a child’s home visits with biological family, attending and speaking in court, running around from town to town from various doctors and therapists offices to find the best interventions to help heal a child. Still, we question ourselves way too much!
When at first you don’t succeed… take a closer look at what it means to succeed.
Success, dear foster parent, is not always the “happily ever after” ending in your head. Nor is it the child you imagined “enough love” would fix. Don’t base your idea of success on simple outcomes. Don’t feel like a failure because something didn’t go as planned despite your exhausting efforts.
YOU ARE SUCCEEDING every single day when you take on the great challenge of helping rewrite a child’s, a family’s story. YOU ARE SUCCEEDING when you rise after a tough day and you give your love to others all over again. YOU ARE SUCCEEDING when you stand in the courtroom and speak in the best interest of the child. YOU ARE SUCCEEDING when you ask the hard questions, when you ask for help, because you want what is best for the child. YOU ARE SUCCEEDING when you feed a child daily bread and daily love to fill their soul. YOU ARE SUCCEEDING when you do this thing called “fostering” because so many say they can’t.
Stop picturing “getting it right” and understand you have succeeded because you are making a difference in a child’s life right now.
When at first you don’t succeed … take a closer look at what it means to succeed.
FOSTER STRONG, MY SUCCESSFUL FRIENDS!!!