It is hard in our noisy world to find someone willing to listen. It is hard to be that person, listening. And when you spend so much of your time listening to hard stories from little lips, you find yourself needing someone to listen to YOU for once.
Earlier this year I realized how much I longed to talk to someone who “got it”. I joined a couple of foster care support groups on facebook.* What a difference! In my feed I now had real questions and issues to be addressed. There were foster parents sharing encouraging stories about a kiddo’s progress. To be honest, I was just proud of the fact that I knew their abbreviations. It was like I fit right in to a secret club. 🙂
After introducing myself to the group, I got a message. It was from an editor of a foster care magazine. The editor asked if I would be willing to write an article for the magazine from the perspective of a biological child of foster parents. I jumped from my seat. Someone actually wanted to hear what I had to say? Someone was asking me to talk more about foster care???
That article was both freeing and nerve-wreaking. It terrified me because it seemed like a thesis of my life and life philosophy. My friends were going to read it. People who thought my parents were making a mistake by taking in foster children were going to poke their noses into my story. I didn’t know how people like THIS > “Oh, you do foster care?” were going to react.
Turns out writing an article was the perfect way to communicate. I got to share many things that no one sticks around to listen to. More people than I would have guessed ended up reading it. That empowered me. I decided I needed to write more articles…
Just this month I was forwarded an opportunity to write a piece on foster care, this time for a church. The church is putting together a booklet filled with foster care experiences. They plan to offer it for free in their lobby on November 8th, Orphan Sunday. What a neat way to help people in their church understand more about foster care!
The hard part was narrowing my experience down to the required 1-2 paragraphs, but that is where this blog comes in. Here I can expand on topics and stories to my heart’s content. No worries about clogging someone’s facebook feed or talking their ear off about yet another foster care issue. Life Observed is for people who want to hear, understand, question, and connect.
I’ve found my listening people.
*If you are a foster parent or involved in foster care in any way, join a support group! Whether it is on facebook, blog-land, or real life, having other people who “get it” will refresh and encourage you as you continue to have an impact on people’s lives.