The last two days have been ones of reflection for me. I think back on the last 8 years of being a foster parent, and what I have learned from that experience. I realized how much more understanding, and how much love I have had to give. I have let go of the judgment I have often felt for the parents of these beautiful children that I was blessed to have come into our home. The parents may have abused their children in some way or another, but I never let myself see their lives through their eyes, until I saw them as A Child of God, and my brothers and sisters. They are Heavenly Fathers children just as I am. Why not stop judging, and see what I could do to help? Why not love them? Our Savior has said "As I have loved you , love one another."
The children that have come from these abusive homes love their parents. Some of them would rather stay in a situation than to be taken away from someone that they love. This is all they know. Change is scary, and the unknown is even scarier. If these kiddos can love their parents even though they have hurt them, then I should be able to find some compassion for them as well. If a parent really wants to be a better, I am willing to do whatever I can to help in that process. I have also seen when a parent thinks that they are not capable of making changes, make the hard decision of giving up the rights to their children so they can have a better life. This is the hardest thing I have ever had to see. To watch a parent make that decision, is very hard. It is a very emotional thing for them to go through. It is the most unselfish act that they will have ever done for their child. I have so much respect for those parents. Yes, they have made some bad mistakes, but in the end they do what is right for their kids.
Many of these parents have come from homes that were abusive, and just didn't know how to raise a child a different way. Many of them have started with severe pain which required a prescription pain killer, and had just become reliant on the prescription which led them to eventually look for a drug that was strong enough for them to feel like they could function as parents. Many of these are single moms. They are trying to provide for themselves and their children, struggling to make ends meet to keep food on the table, and a roof over their heads. If you add the normal stress of raising children to that, these moms become overwhelmed, and a feeling of hopelessness comes over them. Being a mom to 5 kids is stressful for me, and I have a supportive, and loving husband to help me. My husband works hard, but has always been able to provide for our family. I have never worried much about where our next meal is coming from. We have family close to us, and the support from our neighbor's, friends, and a wonderful ward family. Some of these struggling families have none of those things. The idea of looking like, and feeling like a failure may be a prideful attitude, but it is a real feeling for many of us, and for them. We all want to seem as if we are doing well. It's hard for us to show our weaknesses to others. I wish this wasn't the case, for I know that their is a lot of compassion, and much more support from each other, than we realize that we could have. We all want to feel like supermom, and I believe we all are in different ways, so, why not do this together? Share our struggles, share our idea's, share with one another the good, and the bad. Share an uplifting thought, and be in tune with the spirit constantly so that you can be an instrument in His hands. People come into our lives from all different backgrounds. Chances are that someone has been through a situation that you are going through right now. That person may be a huge blessing to you just by the simple fact that they understand what you are going through. Let people help you, let them in, and let them love and help you through your good and bad times. I think if there was less judgment, and more love for our fellow men, that there would be not only less stress in life, and maybe, just maybe we would see less abuse, and a happier world.