beyond OA: relational permanency
Their relatives wanted all of it gone and none of it gone.
They had taken the children and all that came with them into their home and hearts. Now they were leaving. Parts of foster care can be almost unbearable as a caregiver, and just unimaginable as a child to experience. Moving suddenly from one home to another is one of those moments.
The whole situation would shut down any adult, but having a child go through it is inconceivable. Having the Love Box volunteer’s help packing the kids allowed the foster mom to focus on keeping herself steady through the grief. The volunteer could focus directly on the kids. She talked with the kids and let them lead her in the packing their things so it made sense to them and they had some control - Harry Potter books with Harry Potter stuff, and so on…
After packing up nearly three years' worth of their precious belongings into a moving truck, the brother triple-wrapped the framed photo of him and his Love Box "grandpa” in his Hogwarts scarf. He put it in its own box, took a sharpie and wrote, fragile. fragile. fragile, all around the box. He insisted it ride in the front passenger seat of the moving truck.
A few days later, two volunteers jumped into the truck and caught an early morning ferry to drive 150 miles round trip to meet the kids at their mom’s house.
When they got there, the volunteer humbly asked to continue being in the kids’ lives. She wrote, “our heart is to celebrate your family” and asked for permission to keep in touch with her kids. She wanted to restore some of that power to the parent. Their mom accepted.
Parents who have had their children go through the foster system want what the rest of us parents want- they want healthy adults in their kids’ lives.
Once kids enter the foster care system, on average they move seven times in two years. When possible, their Love Box volunteers "move" with them. Each child and family's situation is different, but our volunteers are committed to the children they are matched with. They are bonded, and no matter how much time or how many miles separate them, they leave marks on each others' lives indefinitely.
When those kids went back home to their mom, the volunteers slipped a stack of pre-stamped envelopes into the boy's guitar case. They called and texted the kids' mom to share who they were and the things they had done together while they were in foster care, and they asked permission to keep loving them.
Even though the kids live a couple of hours away now, they still call, text, and write their Angels. And the Love Box volunteers think of and miss them every day.
1/4/2023 07:28:12 am
Outstanding impact story! ♥️
1/4/2023 08:13:37 am
I LOVE the way the Love Box continues to love these children!
1/4/2023 03:01:31 pm
Crying yet again. I am always so touched by the work your of your organization and volunteers. Thank you!
1/4/2023 05:00:09 pm
This is community. This is trauma-informed support. This is everything 💜
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