Tonight, I had the opportunity to go visit my friend’s house (the one who I wrote about back in the post, “Welcome to the Club”), and see her little brothers. One of those little brothers, who is just two, was placed with her family last month and is their first foster child. While I was at her house, I got to talk to her and her parents about how much this little boy has grown over the month he’s been with them.
I have noticed that when a very young child is placed with our family, most often they don’t talk a lot, they don’t feel very comfortable with hugging anyone or being too touchy-feely, and they’re pretty quiet. As they spend time with the family, they start to come out of their shells, and they talk a little more (even if they’re too young to use sentences, they babble a lot more), and they start to feel comfortable sitting on your lap or hugging you, and they start to feel comfortable walking around the house because it’s their home too.
Granted, many of the changes in the child are simply because they start to feel more comfortable in the home. However, they also grow a lot because they (more often than not) haven’t had as much attention as they get at our house, and they learn a lot from being around other kids. Seeing my friend’s little foster brother made me see that it’s the same in other houses as well. It’s only been a month, but this little guy is already learning from the family. While he refuses to say ‘yes’ (it is the terrible twos after all), he says ‘please’ and laughs more, he runs around with his new brothers, and he’s a bubbly, happy little boy. It’s really a joy to see how far he has come since he moved in with my friend’s family.
If you’re part of a foster family, what growth do you notice in a new foster child over the first month? How do you make them feel more at home?
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