One of the most traumatic things for a child to experience is the loss of a parent whether through divorce or death. This is magnified for the foster child who has a history of this type in their past. Yet, life happens. Sometimes marriages break up and people get hurt. Sometimes loved ones are lost. How does a foster parent keep going after that loss has occurred? Should they even try?
I do not think that there is an easy answer to this question because there are so many factors to consider. First, how long has the child been with your family? Are you headed for adoption? Can you handle the emotional stress that is occurring and continue to offer a proper and stable home?
I know a young girl who was faced with this exact heartache. She lost her husband in an accident and was left with 5 children- 3 biological, 2 foster. The children had been with them many years and were to be adopted but the game had changed. The family not only lost the father figure, it also lost the main breadwinner. The questions that had to be dealt with were painfully clear. Should the mother keep the foster children under her roof as they had been for years? Could she possibly meet their emotional needs, the ones of her biological children and still cope with the loss?
She did. She kept the foster children (who are now adopted.) She hit rock bottom. She struggled but she held on because she knew that all of the children in her care were important. She had invested so much into her foster children and loved them as though they were her own- how could she lose them too? Surprisingly, the case worker agreed. I am not certain how often this occurs but in this case, it did. The years have passed for this young mother with a big heart. She grieved. Her children grieved. One day, things looked brighter. They missed what they had lost but crept forward. Today, she is remarried. The children appear to be normal. They have felt the sting of loss, so some of the innocence is lost but they have survived- together. Their family unit continues to strengthen. It is a beautiful picture of a life well lived.
It is because of this one example; I believe that anything is possible for all children. Every child deserves a home. That is no guarantee of perfection but love and dedication.