Sunday, March 25, 2007

"Will I be sent away?"

F.G. asked my wife the other day if she was going to be sent away. She does not speak English yet, so she couldn't say it in so many words. So instead, she pointed at each one of our kids and said their names and then said, "Maria?" She wanted to know where Maria was and why she was not here. Would whatever happened to Maria happen to her?

You see, my wife and I had been fostering for about four years. Maria went back home after spending a year and a half of her two and a half years with us. We deliberately did not accept any more foster kids after she went home because we did not want our soon to be adopted kids to see other kids come and go and wonder if they too would have to go.

But best laid plans . . .

CrazyMom had made an entire photo album of Maria with our family for the year and a half she spent with us. It is clear from the photos that Maria was an integral part of our family and that she was not a birth child. F.G. discovered the photo album, poured over it, and now wanted to know where Maria was.

"Friend," CrazyMom said.

CrazyMom was not sure if F.G. knew what the word friend meant, but she knew that trying to convey to F.G. the nature of foster care was not possible. "Friend" was enough to satisfy F.G. either because she knew the word or just because the tone of the response was calm and reassuring.

Then it happened again. Another photo album discovery, lots of pictures of our family with two little girls who don't look like us, lots of questions from F.G., "friends" from CrazyMom.

No comments: