Fear. Isolation. An inability to focus. Living in the present and unable to focus on the future. The world around me – and social interaction – is dangerous and to be avoided. This is how I’ve felt at times during this pandemic, as many of you may have. Likewise, it’s the connections and experiences with friends and family – even by text or Facetime – that seems to shed perspective on it all and bring the calm.
I realized recently that this is a window into the experience of kids in foster care and why Fostering Hope exists.
To be clear, childhood trauma, in the technical and scientific sense, is very different than typical fear and grief, and toxic stress is not normal stress. We are feeling these things in the face of real and imminent danger, and when it goes away, so will much of our fear. For our youth, this is the constant, even debilitating baseline they live with when the world around them is humming along uneventfully.
But even a glimpse into their world can help us understand more personally why the love and support they experience from our wonderful foster parents and volunteers and greater Fostering Hope community is so healing and transformational. Just today, a friend sent me a care package knowing I was going a little stir crazy. The warmth from this gesture and knowing I was on their mind will carry me through whatever today’s headlines bring.
So, as I reflect on this, I just want to say thank you. Whether you’re a donor, a volunteer, a foster parent or one of our community partners, your contributions to creating calm out of chaos and shining love into darkness are truly something special.