Indulge me for a moment. Please.
This is for all the people, like me, who thought that if you simply gave a hug to a child, supplied all their needs, and showed kindness to them that they’d appreciate you and reciprocate the same in return.
This is for all the people, like me, who have no idea how it feels to be neglected and ripped away from their parents.
This is for all the people, who really don’t have any clue of what life is like with a foster child.
This is for all the people, who think it’s not their problem and ignore it. Someone has to take care of these hurting children. Someone. Even the severe cases where the child cannot stay with their family any longer for safety, someone has to take care of them – police, hospital, treatment center, prison.
The work that a foster parent has to do in order to help these children heal is INTENSE. Intense for the child. Intense for the parents. Intense for the family.
I have spent 8 years working on these boys. For the first time, after watching this video, I feel like – I’m doing something right. I made some correct choices. I am making progress – albeit slow. My boys have a chance.
It’s soooooooooo hard to find someone local who specializes in attachment therapy. Even harder to find a good one. I’ve had five people turn me down when I asked for help. I’ve paid $800 per child for one therapy session. I’ve researched and researched and researched. Then dived in with the only real tools I had – my own mothering instincts.
I watched the following video. My instincts were correct. I could cry right now with joy. Okay…I am.
I created my own attachment therapies. I read and was told was why the boys needed therapy and why they were doing what they were doing but because it varies so much from one family to the next, I couldn’t find actual therapy practices.
You know that feeling after just going to confession? That feeling of lightness. That feeling of calm. That’s me right now. I’ve made progress with the boys. I. made. progress.
Before watching the following video this evening, I had just let Gabriel crawl around on my bedroom floor while I called each of his big brothers one by one into my room. Years ago, I realized that these boys never had those bonding moments of nursing or being held while drinking their bottle and looking in their mom’s eyes. I read that those moments are vital in mother/baby bonding. The baby learns to trust his mother as he drinks and looks her in the eyes. A young baby can only see as far as their mother’s face while they’re nursing until they are much older. Thus, I have rocked my boys. I rocked them a lot when they were younger and from time to time as they’ve gotten bigger, especially when we’re having a rough day. I look them right in the eyes as their head is cradled in the crook of my arm and sing to them. Tonight I sang, “I’ll love you forever. I’ll like you for always. As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.” It was the only time today they smiled at me. It was the only time today where they looked me straight in the eyes without flicking them everywhere but at me. It was one minute of cuddle time with mom. One minute of healing.
One minute at a time. That is how we do it around here because that’s what they can handle. And as it says in the video, tomorrow we’ll have to start all over again. That’s life around here. But…now I know that it is working. Slow progress. I’ll take it.
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If you’re on a mobile device or the video is not showing on your screen, you can follow this link to watch the video: http://live.huffingtonpost.com/r/segment/adoption-reactive-attachment-disorder-rad-kid/52e299e678c90a08d00002bf