Holt’s director of U.S. foster care programs reflects on the need for foster and adoptive parents to heal their own traumas before they can help children heal from theirs.
It’s not uncommon to think of traumatic experience as a point-in-time incident, such as September 11, 2001. Or a short-term experience like a veteran serving our country during times of war. Relational and developmental trauma, which results from a child’s exposure to repetitive, invasive and interpersonal traumatic events, is often left out of the trauma narrative. That is unfortunate because this is the type of trauma that nearly all children in need of foster care and adoption experience.
Holt donors help children all around the world — including children in the United States! In Oregon and Washington, you help children find safe and secure foster and adoptive families. You help children like Marc and Jenny!
For two months, Marc and Jenny didn’t have a home. They entered Washington’s foster care system. But there was nowhere for them to go. Nowhere for them to unpack their bag of few belongings.
So they were moved around. They lived with nine different foster families. Never for very long. And when they were in between these foster families, they had to stay in a hotel with their social worker. They spent a total of ten nights in a hotel. Scared, and feeling alone and unwanted.
Finally, Holt staff in Washington found a foster family for Marc and Jenny to live with. These siblings had already experienced a lot of trauma, and the care of a family came right in time.
Greg Eubanks, Holt’s senior vice president for U.S. foster care and adoption, answers the most frequently asked question his team receives — “Can I adopt a baby from foster care?”
In May, we recognize National Foster Care Awareness Month. In the same breath, we advocate for children in foster care who wait for adoptive families. To many, this duality can be confusing. Foster care, to be clear, is intended to be a temporary solution to keep children safe until they can reunite with their families of origin. On the contrary, there’s nothing temporary about adoption.
Our world is changing, and we’re dealing with a lot. I hate to pile more on your plate, but I’m hoping you have a small amount of room beside your heaping servings of global pandemic, election cycle, racial injustice and online working and learning to save room for children. They need us now, and they are really going to need us soon. As a way of saying ‘thanks,’ we have a free gift for those who keep reading to the end of this brief post. Continue reading “Why Now is a Great Time to Learn About U.S. Foster Care”
Greg Eubanks, Holt’s VP for U.S. foster care and adoption, shares how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting foster families and children this National Foster Care Awareness Month — and why we urgently need new families to say ‘yes’ to fostering.
Before Emerson could go home to her adoptive family, she needed to have heart surgery in China. While recovering, she stayed at Holt’s donor-funded medical foster home in Beijing, where the love and care she received made such a difference — her mom can still see it, every day.
When asked, adoptive mother Rachel Pace admits she doesn’t know a lot about the Peace House in China. Her 2-year-old daughter, Emerson, stayed at Holt’s medical foster home for only a short time. But circumstances surrounding Emerson’s adoption made the journey a bit of a “whirlwind.” Rachel had to learn a lot, in not a lot of time.