Bring Me Hope: Foster Parenting Through Tough Times


The blue dress reminded me of the kind of silk my great grandmother used to trim her blankets. My seventeen-year-old daughter stood at the edge of the dressing room drowsy with possibilities. I bury the thoughts about the sensible everyday clothes we were “suppose” to be buying. The results of sensibility, I reminded myself, were the white Bermuda shorts purchased two summers ago, which were never worn.
           
“Can I buy this dress?”  Crow black hair fell folded into the small of her back, and the Morning Glory blue material rippled like wind walking across grass. I nodded my head yes, and her face lit with a thousand watt grin. Two seconds later her smile faded. “But what if something happens and I do something bad, will I still get to keep the dress?”
           
“Honey, there is nothing you could ever do that would cause me to take this dress away from you. It will be yours no matter what.”  Unlike my son and youngest daughter who needed to be held lightly, this child needed to test the strength of my grip. Perhaps there is no adequate description for some older foster children whose trust has been damaged time and time again. This kind of love needs to stay molten. In it’s lifetime it will often need to be thrown back into the fire, recast, reshaped. 

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"We have stories / as old as the great seas / breaking through the chest / flying out the mouth, / noisy tongues that once were silenced, /all the oceans we contain / coming to light." —Linda Hogan

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