Foster Care Grief – Anger

One of the things we face as a foster parent, usually in the hours before and of a new placement is anger. These precious children come to us dirty, bruised, broken, or worse. It’s only natural for someone so filled with empathy that they’ll take a stranger in at 2 AM to be pissed off when that stranger is a hurting child.

In that moment, when I need to take a moment to vent, I am thankful for that yellow sun with the blue background which has appeared in every community across this great land.

Yes among those other strange people who shop at 2 AM is probably a foster parent looking for enough supplies to get a child through the next 90 hours of chaos. Properly fitting clothes, that may be the first new clothes the child’s ever had. Shoes, probably in some cases for the first time ever. Diapers/underwear. Lice Treatment kits, which are always out-of-stock. A teddy bear, a book, and sometimes whatever medicine will get them through until the pharmacy opens tomorrow.

Oh, if your like me, you probably have most of this at home already. But it’s not about the need so much as the moment of self-care get over being mad! That child has seen enough of that already, no need to let them see it in you tonight!

It isn’t Un-Christian

Seriously, Jesus got angry. He flipped tables and shouted. It’s ok to be mad, but there’s a time and place. Being angry and mouthing off in front of the child, no matter the age, does nothing good.

Take stock of the situation. Certain things will make you more angry than your spouse, so if this is a moment you need to get out and vent a little steam don’t be afraid to say so. Likewise, when it’s your spouse who needs that moment, step up and do what’s needed at home so they can walk away for a bit.

Healthy Venting

It is OK to be mad, to be angry. It’s how we handle that anger, how we vent off the steam that makes us different than those who used their anger to hurt a child.

For my wife, she often needs a hot bath and maybe a nap. I haven’t a clue how that helps, but hey…I’m not her.

Me, I need to scream at a windshield, blast some music, punch a wall…ok well a bean bag.

Whatever the need, however you vent, have a plan to vent off the anger you feel. Use that energy to do something productive, whether it be to fulfill needs of the children who were just placed in your home, or it be a moment of self-care through exercise, rest, or other. Because if you hold on to that anger, it will eventually make it impossilbe to have any productive moments.

Solving Tomorrow’s Issues

But beyond that if we hold on to the anger of this moment, the anger that comes tomorrow will only be magnified through it.

And if we let that swell of anger continue to grow, we won’t wade through the seas of depression, which we’ll get to next week. Instead, that swell of anger will drown us faster than Jack died saving Rose.

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