The past month has proven to be quite stressful and disruptive. First, we were struck by Hurricane Irma. While we were very lucky not to be hit directly, our neighbors to the west and south were not as lucky. Then Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and just when we thought we had gotten through the worst, the attack in Las Vegas woke us to a stark reality. All of these fateful events leave us feeling helpless, and for some, hopeless.
In every tragedy, we can find a silver lining if we look hard enough and change our outlook. In the devastation of a hurricane, we find neighbors helping neighbors. In a senseless shooting, we find heroes who risk their lives for family members as well as strangers and we are inspired by their bravery. We don’t have to look too hard to get some perspective and see what’s important in our lives.
For us at BFF, we think of the children who live their own private “hurricanes” and “disasters” every day. For children living in an abusive or neglectful home, life is always stressful and disruptive. They live in a constant state of fight or flight.
Last week, we received a few new referrals for our program, and as we typically do, we read their stories to gain a better understanding of their situation. If you’ve seen a movie and you thought, that would never happen in real life, you know the feeling. When Dorothy lands in Oz for the first time, her technicolor world seems impossible, her Kansas life so far out of reach. Some of the stories that we read last week seemed just like that: an unreal-would-never-happen scenario.
When reading stories of what foster children have to endure, we often feel helpless for a moment, and then we shift our thought process. We think of ways to help each child battle the effects and overcome the barriers their unique journey has presented them with. We are determined to introduce them to their own personal Oz. We watch them begin the healing process and embark on learning. We commit to helping them weather their storm. We must always remember that while life can seem heartless and daunting, it is also filled with joy and love.
Our hope for our kids is that one day they will be able to say, there really is no place like home.