I keep asking myself this question every time I come home from taking the foster care classes. Seriously they are sad, depressing and overwhelming and that's just the tip of the iceberg. I feel so bad for these children. I really wish that all parents or soon to be parents took these classes. They are eye opening, but they also give great parenting advice.
In the last few weeks we have covered the topics of abuse(sexual emotional and physical), neglect, impacts of abuse of development, attachment, separation, grief, and loss. We spend four hours a day discussing these topics and the sad thing is we are just scratching the surface of most of them. I come out of these feeling so small and yet still empowered. I'm not sure how that is possible, but there it is.
Our trainer tells these horrifying stories of what these children have been through and then even more horrifying stories of what we as foster parents should expect these children to be like and I really ask myself if I'm strong enough to handle this. I find myself on my knee praying for strength more than ever before because I know I won't be able to do this without the help and love of my Lord and Savior.
It almost comical how my brain keeps telling me no you aren't doing this you need to stop going to class and just tell them this is not something you can do, but I find myself in the next class and turning in the next set of paperwork as if my body is detached from my brain.
Our trainer pulls no punches. She tells it how it is. We have several foster parents who are renewing their licenses and they testify that she's right on with what she is teaching. They all say it is hard work, but totally worth it. That even in the hardest child their is a soft core begging to be loved and cared for.
I can only hope they are right and that I have what it takes to handle not only the ups and downs of the children in care, but the emotional trauma when these children leave my home to reunited with their parents. I just have to keep saying, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger,"...
Although when I think about it if it's bad enough that it could kill me, but doesn't, will I wish I were dead anyway?