Our local foster parent organization, The Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition, has a wonderful program that provides toys, clothes and special event funding for kids in state care. Little Wishes is a year round program but during the holidays it grows even bigger. Baggage wrote a great post about it here. But I want to give you, fellow foster parents, another special reason to think about fulfilling a foster child's holiday wish.
I love the Little Wishes program for one secret, selfish reason. Healing.
Vivi was our second foster child, the first child that I loved so completely and fiercely and then lost her forever. If you are a foster parent, you know that ache, that grief, that forever longing and wondering. She may be where she is supposed to be, but that doesn't always keep the pain down. She is my daughter, I had the wonderful honor of caring for her during her first 7 months of her life. I quietly remember and honor every birthday that she has. I wonder what she looks like and how she is doing now. I wish I still had some connection, something that would make me know that she is safe, loved and happy.
I know I may never have that...but I do have Little Wishes. Every year as early as possible I scour the site....looking for my Vivi. I have been so elated to be able to buy her special Little Wish every year since she left me. It may not fix the ache but it makes it so much better for a little while.
If you are a foster parent, consider this request, find a child on the site that might remind you of a special foster child that left, and grant their wish. The child might be the same age, or have the same name, anything that might give you a connection to your little one. Take some time to honor and reflect on the wonderful little souls that we've had the honor of knowing, even for a short while. I'm always surprised at how healing one little present can be.