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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Respite Care and what it looks like...

Have you ever wondered what respite care is?  What is looks like in someone's home?  Here is a glimpse into ours. 
Sometimes and most times respite care is planned.  Foster Families need breaks, vacations and times away.  That is when they schedule respite with other foster families (like ours).  Sometimes respite is an emergency situation and you have very little notice from when you say "yes" and when the child arrives.  Respite care is also done within a timeline (such as Friday to Monday) or a week of vacation...etc.
Other times our family might do respite care is when a child first comes into care and they are looking for a long term home for them.  Above is an example of a foster child welcome box that was given upon entering care.  This was neat for me to see because our school CCA had put together welcome boxes in one of our monthly community outreach after school events. 

Even after doing foster care for 10 years, it never ceases to cause me to stop and reflect when everything a child owns is brought to you in a bag.  I cried.  For the hurt that you see in their eyes when they are handed to you.  When you search frantically for something to connect with them, to ease their fears and anxiety after their world has been turned upside down.  When they cling to you and push you away all at the same time.  My heart breaks. 

We loved this little one for a few days and then he moved on to his long term home.  We are privileged to help in the moments of uncertainty, moments for breaks and rejuvenation.  It is a ministry, a tough ministry that causes your world to become larger.  You count your blessings, hold your babies a little tighter and a little longer, and you say a pray for all things in which you cannot control. 

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