My foster son just celebrated his first birthday! I have held him in the midst of sleepless nights, rocked him when he was sick, fed him his first foods and have watched him meet milestones. He has his own room in our house and his pictures are on our walls – he has completely stolen my heart. Still, this boy is not just mine. This sweet boy, this member of our family, has a family beyond ours.
My foster son’s first birthday is a major milestone. It’s not just about me, and it’s not just about him, but it’s also about his other momma, his biological mother.
That’s why when she asked to see him on his first birthday, regardless of the poor choices she has made and the frustrations I have with her, my answer was “yes.”
The power of kindness
Our time together today was very pleasant as we tried to keep our focus on this sweet birthday boy we both love. I watched her interact with him, without me stepping in to wipe his face when it was dirty, or pick up his toy when he dropped it. For the first time, I let her take the lead because she was there for her son’s first birthday. It was a big day for him, and it was a big day for her.
It’s not always easy to show this sort of kindness to the biological family members of our kids when our first response is something much different. But despite our feelings, it’s the right thing to do. Showing grace to our foster children’s biological family will look different in every situation, and in our situation it was being able to provide a beautiful day for my foster son where he could celebrate a milestone day with both of his mommas.
– Charonne Ganiere, 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.