Last night, we had a WONDERFUL night! Foster Son wants to be a fashion designer, so a friend of mine came over and, bearing the gift of a sewing machine, gave both kiddos their first sewing lesson. So fun, right?
But after my friend left, we had a less-than-wonderful moment. Foster Son called me “Aaron.” My husband’s name. This mistake is a trigger for me, as well as for Aaron when he gets called “Barry.” We know it shouldn't be, but it hurts. We have talked with Foster Son about how hurtful it is, but it still happens. Foster Daughter never does it. Only he does.
We have even suggested just calling us both “dad” so neither of us gets our feelings hurt. Last night after the slip up, I suggested it to him again. His response?
"I already have a dad..."
So many thoughts...so many feelings...including my own hurt and despair. Thoughts of: “So he is never going to call me dad? After all I do for him?” and “Where is his biological dad in all of this? Nowhere.”
To make a point, I started to call him a variation of his nickname a few times, and he got REALLY upset, saying, "Stop calling me that! My name is __! NOT __!”
He proceeded to spell his nickname and actually fell to the ground, kicking and crying.
"See how upset you are that I am calling you something that isn’t your name?” I asked. “I did it one time. Imagine how I feel..."
Foster Son has been life-coached by many people: our case worker...a child prep counselor...his Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) worker...his therapist…
He has had repeated discussions about what is going on and encouragement that we are going to be a forever family – that Aaron and I are going to be his (and his sister’s) dads.
To say that. Those words: “I already have a dad..."
I know he is pain. But so are we. We are human too.
There was no anger last night. Just a lot of hurt because we quickly dropped the subject. It was bedtime after all.
I know it's an innocent childhood mistake to call out the wrong name. But it's my name.
I don't even remember how this video fell in my lap today, but I think I needed to see it.
These kids need us.
To guide them on a smoother path to a brighter future. Fighting with them, side by side, day by day, together as a family. Hopefully softening the edges of past hurts, navigating away from the future in which they were headed had the road gone a different way.
We need these kids.
To help make our lives more meaningful and fulfilling than the future in which we were headed had the road gone a different way.
This piece is Part 2. Click for Part 1: The Journey to Foster Care: Are You Ready.