Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Foster Family Symposium and Watoto Concert

These are 2 of the 4 posters that were on display at the symposium, made by 4 different schools who were educated on foster parenting and how the schools can partner with them.
This year we in the adoption community had an invitation to go to the annual Foster Family Symposium to listen to their guest speaker (Helene) speak on Attachment Disorders. It was very informative and Helen was truely a wonderful advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves.

There were a few things that I disagreed with reguarding child rearing that really need to be costomized rather than put into a formula. I had to keep in mind that she was mainly speaking to the foster parent community not international adopting families.

One thing that I found a little conflicting was she told a story about a foster mom who had a little man stay with her who was about 8. He had previously seen somewhere in his life a child with a sippy cup and thought it might be comforting to have one himself. The foster mom gladly gave the 8 year old a sippy cup and he used it for comfort while he bonded to his new foster family soon after forgetting about the cup. I thought it was a wonderful picture of a child trying to build a bond in their own little way. A couple of hours later the speaker asked if anyone had questions and a lady who is hoping to adopt in the future asked if it was ok to allow a child to sleep in your bed with you if they wanted to and the speaker said it was her practice to try to sway people from doing that, she did say it would depend on the child and situation.

I think it would be a very secure thing for the child for their forever families. Perhaps there are certain rules and criteria you need to follow as a foster parent but as an adoptive mom who wants to build a bond and make up for lost time in her life I will not blink an eye if my little brown eyed girl asks if she can jump in bed with us.

We had special guests at our church this weekend also! The Watoto Children's Choir! These children are simply incredible, a few of them told their story, of course I'm sitting there in a blubbering mess! All weekend I learned about attachment disorder and here is an organization that reaches out to children who have lots their parents and takes them into their village and they are taught the story of Jesus' love and are so thankful for a new family to call their own.

They didn't need a formula they just loved them...I know Africa and North America are two totally different places with two totally different cultures but it just taught me a key lesson...yes education on Attachment Disorder is helpful but more than anything else the thing we need to focus on the MOST is "show love consistently".....that was what these children exalted more than even their voices...they ran around hugging complete strangers for pete sake! I wanted to take them home!

This was one of the Watoto Aunts or Mama (that's what all the children call the older children.) I loved her hair it was absolutely beautiful, as we were I had to ask if I could take her picture. Isn't she gorgeous!


Dawn and Dale said...

I LOVE Foster Parents!! Our girls had the BEST ones there could ever be! SO thankful for them!!!

The Watoto Choir came to our little town about a year ago as well!! I clicked on your picture and it was these exact same kids that came here! (I hear there are a few groups of kids that go around??)

Aren't they just incredible!! I was a bawling mess there too!!

Lea said...

Have a good week my friend.

Your 34/12 LID kept screaming out at me as I was reading your current post. Oh my gosh. I can't wait to watch you go.


Nadine said...

I love that foster parents are willing to open up their homes for children, even for a short period of time and make them part of their family.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Great post..
sounds like you had a great time..
Love the photos..
Have a great week girly..

Janet said...

Yeah, you could say that I was a bit of a mess in that concert too. It was just so beautiful, especially because our children are from Uganda. :-)

Nick said...

Just came across your blog and am interested in the adoption aspect :) My wife and I have lived in Asia for about 7 years and have a few friends who have adopted Lao children. We've been thinking about it for a while and may take the big step soon :)