Trauma Mama

to my foster child

I haven’t provided much in the way of foster care updates on the blog. I’ve been trying to figure out the balance between privacy and what I want so badly to write about (because that’s what writers do). I have a private Facebook group of family and some friends. In that group I share some blog-like updates.

It’s challenging to be in the midst of something you’ve waited decades for and not be able to share. So I’ll do my best to update without diving into too much detail.

This afternoon through 9:00 PM was a little rough up in here. Trauma parenting is a thing. Hello, my name is Elaina and I’m a Trauma Mama. Most of the time I think my son’s past therapy, prior to meeting me, has made a significant and positive impact on him.

And then something like today happens and I wonder how I could possibly have the skills and abilities to help him through what remains. I do (in Him) but I still question these things.

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Today was not good. Today was a day that made me hate being a single foster parent. Today was a day that made me long – desperately – to be free of a 9-5 so at the very least, I’ve stripped off one layer of stress in my life – so I can be more present for him.

Truthfully, we’ve had some very hard moments since the week of Mother’s Day. I’ve wondered who this kid is lately, because the little boy his teacher knows, my mom knows, I know, the kids our street know – is not the little boy I’ve been seeing.

It hurts my heart for him. He bears so many burdens. I sometimes wonder how he keeps it all together. Today was hard. Recent weeks have had some very hard moments.

And then there is the rest of the time. I literally laugh out loud at him constantly. He loves being silly. He loves making people laugh. His smile lights up a room. He is sweet – so very sweet. He talks from the moment he knocks on my door in the morning until he falls asleep, at night. He talks about everything and anything.

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He is conscientious and anxious and must understand everything. His why questions are rooted in this inquisitive longing to understand…everything. Boy does he ever stump me. There are so many times when I’m like…huh. I don’t know. Let’s look that up. 🙂

Since the week of Mother’s Day, he isn’t far from my presence – ever. Until that week, he would happily play in his room, with me across the hall, before bedtime (our usual routine). Now, he needs to be with me. In the evening, after his bath, his cars and trucks have found their way to my room where he plays until it’s time for reading, prayers, and sleep.

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He’s only been with me a few months. But it seems like there wasn’t life before him. And honestly, I can’t imagine life without him in it. So I wait for what comes next. We have six more months of the status quo – per the judge.

Six more months of limbo for him.

I know. Three months with me and six more months of waiting, is nothing in foster care land. But for him, he has been in limbo for far longer (two years). He longs for security, safety, and the stability of his forever home. I want this for him so badly. Six months will pass in the blink of an eye, right?

I hope so. I hope that at the end of the six months, whatever happens, the little boy that stole my heart, will be a step closer to his forever home.

Are you a foster parent? What strategies have you found to help you and your kiddos out when the trauma rears its ugly head?

4 thoughts on “Trauma Mama

  1. We are first time foster parents and have had our kiddos for a little over two months. They are 3 and almost 2. (We also have 3 & 7 year old bio kids) The almost two year old seems happy and trauma free so far, but his brother remembers more, understands more. Two days ago he told me he loves me for the first time, and ever since he has been having meltdowns over everything and yelling that he wants his mommy and daddy again at night and sometimes during particularly bad tantrums during the day. They have been in care for a shorter time than your son, though we are also not their first home, and there is no permanency on the horizon. I know we’ll all get through it, sort-of, eventually, and I wish you the best of luck. I have been posting quite a bit of our story, but I also have never told family or friends about my blog, so I feel there is anonymity there. It really does help to talk about all the things we go through, and I always feel like I can’t say everything I want to say when taking to people I know because of confidentiality.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I definitely understand wanting to talk about what we go through. My agency is a little strict (in my opinion) so I’m trying to comply but I think some of their rules are a little much.

      My little guy is so sweet but nights like last night definitely remind me of how much he’s been through and how hard things have been.

      Just trying to figure out how best to help him through! One thing I realized late last night is that when he started feeling safe with me, things got a little harder. Your older kiddo may be feeling safe and now the overwhelming emotions are coming out?

      I wish you luck, too! I’ll check out your blog this evening after my kiddo is in bed.

      Like

  2. I think telling me he loves me was a step in accepting that he lives with us now and not with his family. I think by committing to me he is subconsciously feeling like he has to let go of her. It can’t help that he’s seen her once in the two and a half months he’s been here.

    I think our agency allows a good amount of info. We can post pics as long as we don’t include names or mention that they are foster kids. We can disclose anything that happens while they are with us, we just can’t talk about past trauma or anything we read in their file. And it’s fine to say “I had a foster kid that went through x, y, and z” as long as we don’t disclose which one. (Obviously that doesn’t work until there are enough options to make it anonymous) We can also directly disclose info when we feel it’s necessary (ex. “Don’t leave her alone with the boys. She has a history of sexual abuse and has tried to get other kids to do things with her.”)

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