Foster Fridays: Respite Parents
Foster Love Ministries gave a short presentation at a church we're teamed up with recently, and I ended up giving an unplanned word expressing my great appreciation for respite foster parents. Since then I've been thinking about how much I appreciate the family that does respite for us. They love and spoil him, and he greatly enjoys being with them. They don't just "babysit" him, they invest in him.
Foster parents often feel alone. The behaviors. The misunderstandings. The rude comments. The heartbreaking histories. The re-learning of how to parent effectively. The trauma your own body and mind are experiencing now, as you parent someone with trauma.
Respite families walk alongside you, and make you feel less alone.
The dedication of a committed respite provider says, "We're going to care for you as you care for this child." The consistency of having the same trauma-informed family watch your child when you have to leave them overnight is invaluable. Having someone support you so that you can continue on in your work is life-giving.
Our respite family has adopted from foster care, but right now are emergency/respite only. Being "respite only" is a great opportunity for people who aren't currently able to foster, but still have a heart for kids in crisis. I don't know what we'd do without ours.