Siblings Reunited

The Heart of Family

  It is not flesh and blood but the heart which makes us fathers and sons. ~Johann Schiller The flash of a tattoo could be seen on the inside of his forearm when he turned his hand to dish up the noodles and rice.  He worked with calm efficiency as he greeted each customer with a smile.  He seemed to enjoy his job which consisted solely of serving hungry shoppers a quick lunch.  The tired mall patrons barely smiled back, and reserved conversation to needs that centered around their food purchase: “Where are the straws?” “You forgot my fortune cookie?” “I need a fork.” He answered each request and smiled in response.  He looked at me as my turn arrived and we exchanged the necessary information.  I watched him work, and tried to see the details of his tattoo.  The angle was wrong and I could only see that the

Discovering a Child’s Heritage

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  She begins the morning conversation with a request, which is her usual practice, “Tell me again about the day I was born.  It was a blizzard…right?”  I  relay the story, as I have done many times in the past, starting with the below zero temperature and blowing snow conditions.  She listens with rapt attention and focuses on every word I say.  She loves to hear about her first breath. If only her homework could captivate her this easily.  It is a frequent conversation that we have and I believe it is a common one.  All children desire to know their origin, their heritage, their family heartbeat. As any child gets older, they begin to crave knowledge about their past.  They want to know what their first words were, what they looked like as a baby, and stories about their childhood.  For children in foster care, there is often no

A Map To Self-Sufficiency

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California is doing it.What’s that, you ask? They’re providing state funding to allow foster children to remain in the system until they are 21, and they’re offering support to these young adults as they transition from childhood to adulthood. The law passed in 2010, and in some counties, up to 98% of eligible youth are taking part in the program. And it’s working. There are real, measurable benefits of extending care and support. Read more about one young woman’s story and about the program itself. Other states are increasing their support through a child’s 21st birthday as well. In 2008, Congress passed a law that awarded matching funds to states that extend foster care beyond the age of 18, which reduces the financial burden of participating states. The potential benefits of extending care are great. According to an issue brief written by Jim Casey, entitled “Foster Care to 21: Doing

We Had Love to Offer, Why Not Help a Child?

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We all have the capacity to love. Not just the capacity, but the need to love and to be loved. It is at the heart of what it means to be human. The heart of humanity is designed for love. It cannot function properly without it. Yet, to love at all is risky. When we offer our hearts to something or someone, we also accept the inevitability of loss. There is no greater pain in life than a broken heart. To open our hearts to anything is to open ourselves to the possibility of pain. The only way to properly avoid pain is to protect the heart from the dangers of love. But can we afford that option? To refuse to love is to sentence the heart to an early grave. Protection from pain takes a huge toll on the heart. Bitterness sets in and the heart becomes a stone

What a Forever Family Means

Forever FamiliesI dreamed about my forever family for a long time.  Where I would live, what my room would look like, what my family would be like.However, getting a new family  meant I would be getting more than just a new set of parents:A new set of family rules and boundaries to follow.A new group of friends.Maybe a new school and a new town.Even a new bedtime or pets! It was a little scary…All the new stuff, including my forever family members, was a lot to get used to. Remember to be honest about your feelings with your new parent (s) and to think of things that would help you feel more comfortable. Your ideas matter!Do I have to love my new family immediately?I was nervous about having to love my new family immediately. I was also not sure what to call my new parent (s). Don’t worry, you will know