Can you imagine spending Thanksgiving or Christmas (or any other beloved holiday) with strangers?
That’s what our foster youth have to do, and the grief they experience in foster care in general is often compounded during the holidays, when the traditions they have grown up with, the traditions they know and love, are unavailable to them. Instead, they find themselves expected to fit in with your family traditions.
As we were decking our home this past weekend, I became acutely aware of this dynamic, and took steps to try to address it. While nothing any foster parent can do could ever take away the grief or pain of being separated from family during the holidays (or any other time), I still encourage foster parents to look for ways to ease the pain a bit. That’s what I tried to do, and that’s what this video is about.
Our way won’t work for everyone—it’s really important to know your foster youth, to listen to them, and to give them freedom and a voice to speak into how you do things. But this video might give you some ideas and help you help your kids to have the best holiday season they can have (while acknowledging it will still be hard!)