Tuesday, May 6, 2014

School picture proofs

Guest Post from Christy //// May is National Foster Care Awareness Month

In honor of Foster Care Awareness Month, many foster parents are taking the opportunity to talk about their experiences as foster parents and offer some tangible, relevant, constructive ideas for how folks can help make things better for the little ones in the system. Today, I'd like to talk about school pictures. 

"School pictures?" you say?

Yes, school pictures.

I had an experience last week that was very emblematic of the way kids in foster care simply miss out on some of the things most of us just take for granted.

We got our two kids in January, and we are the third foster home they have been in since September. When they arrived at our house, they came with TWO car-fulls of "stuff." Clothes, toys, and papers in plastic garbage bags and old diaper boxes. It has taken me all this time to finally sort through it all. Last week, I discovered a three-ring binder from my foster son's previous school—the one where he started kindergarten. It had a lot of the things you would expect to find in a kindergartener's binder: coloring pages, pages where he practiced writing letters and numbers, letters to parents from the school (which were never read).

And it had his school picture proofs and order forms.

His kindergarten school pictures.

The first school pictures of his academic career.

When I was growing up, my mom had 8 x 10 frames hanging in the hallway of our home where she put our school pictures each year. The previous years' pictures were behind the latest ones, so that each year, we could lay out all of the pictures and see how we had grown over the years. THEY WERE JUST ALWAYS THERE. Because OF COURSE my mom ordered our pictures. It's what moms DO. But for a foster kid, especially one who is shuffled from house to house, that kind of thing just falls right through the cracks. No one is ordering their pictures, no one is sending wallet sized copies to aunts and uncles and grandparents. All they will have, MAYBE, is the copy of the proof of their school picture.

You know, with the word PROOF watermarked across their face.

When I discovered the pictures and order forms, I immediately went online and discovered that the deadline for ordering them had not yet passed. I was so happy, I started to cry. I ordered a whole package of the pictures, including the 8 x 10. And today I went to Target and bought a beautiful frame, which will hang proudly in our home with our kid's school picture.

TAKEAWAY: Not everyone is called to be a full time foster parent, but there are many ways to be involved in helping a foster kid flourish. How about contacting your local school and offering to buy a package of school pictures for a foster kid whose parents or foster parents neglect to get them? Some day, that kid will know that someone cared enough to make sure they got their kindergarten school pictures. And it will mean something to them. It will mean a BIG something to them.

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Thank you for sharing Christy!!!!
You can find Christy's blog HERE and you can find her on twitter HERE

1 comment:

  1. This is so beautiful! Thanks for this perspective.

    ReplyDelete