NewFound News for You
Follow along with NewFound Families as we work to support families. In this news column we seek to provide current information about the admininistration of the child welfare system. Become part of our community and join us on Facebook.
You are MY family! You have done everything to make me feel a part of everything going on during the holidays. I am so appreciative. Please know that, because at some point I might withdraw a bit and remember my birth mom and dad. I might wonder what they are doing. I know I belong here and I do love it here, but there might be some time that I need to myself just to remember.
1. You may be able to help me with a special card that just lets me know you are here to listen and that I can say what is on my mind. I don't want to hurt you, so giving me permission to talk could help.
2. If I have a good relationship with my birth grandparents or cousins, you might consider asking them to give me a call...if that would be safe.
3. I would love to have my own special tradition with you like you have with your other kids. Could we think up something together or you could just surprise me...you know me VERY well.
Generally, I won't start feeling withdrawn till after all the festivities, so just check in on me...but, not so everyone notices! Thanks!
When relatives are raising the children of relatives a new family dynamic develops. Listen to what may be in the hearts of the children.
1. I wonder if Mom or Dad will show up, this year.
2. I bet it is hard on grandma to make Christmas special this year. She doesn't have much money and I know it hurts her that there isn't much under the tree.
3. My cousins are great fun, but I never had to live with them before, and now they have to share Christmas with me. I hope everything goes OK.
If you see children withdrawing during the holidays these may be some of the feelings they are sorting out. You might want to find a simple family gathering activity you can all do together to take the pressure off...play a board game; pop some corn and watch a movie; decorate some sugar cookies; have a baked potato bar for dinner;or anything simple that they can participate in, but does not create more stress for YOU!
It is sometimes hard to imagine after all you have put into the holidays to make it special for EVERYONE that some might be feeling a bit sad or even angry. We have heard throughout the years that children in foster care will often have unresolved conflict with holiday celebrations. Here are some that come to mind and a couple with helpful hints.
It was 10 years ago that we developed this organization as FACES of Virginia Families: Adoption, Foster, and Kinship Association. We are still the only family support and respite organization in Virginia. However, during this past 10 years more and more organizations have been incorporated using the name FACES. As a result, we are no longer distinguishable by our name alone. In the past, we have even received donation checks that were intended for other FACES organizations and had to find them and send them the check.
From Compassion Fatigue to Compassion Satisfaction.
So, let’s say that you have 4 children living in your home. Each one with their own set of demands on your schedule from therapy appointments, to worker and parent visits, school outings, homework, and so much more. You do all of this out of love and compassion, and by the end of the day all you want to do is fall back onto your bed and collapse…forget about brushing your teeth, doing the dishes…just collapse. With all of that who has time to think about self-care. You may actually be thinking I don’t even have time to read this blog. I understand. I, also, must ask you to please take the time. Your first step toward self-care and compassion satisfaction may begin by reading this article.
Do any of these things EVER apply to you, if so, you just might want to keep reading…
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
- Worry that you are not doing enough for the traumatized person
- Diminished joy toward things that you used to enjoy
- Blaming others for the difficulties you are experiencing
- Feeling hopeless for the traumatized person
- Dreaming about the traumatized person’s experiences
- Physical AND Mental Exhaustion
- Rejecting intimacy
- Difficulty communicating
- Low self image
- Detachment from your friends and loved ones
- Accidents and errors
- Lack of Flexibility
- Memory difficulties