And while those phrases grate on me something fierce, I've decided that my least favorite phrase to hear from anyone surrounding my kids is:
I want to take him home with me.Or the close cousin:
Do you want to come home with me?Those phrases are hurtful. They undermine everything I'm doing. And if the child is old enough to understand what they're hearing, they're scary as Hell to the child!!
Think about it...
This child just lost EVERYTHING they knew! They were moved to a strange home. They're being cared for by new people. EVERYTHING looks different. Feels different. Smells different. Sounds different. Tastes different.
They have a new bed. They have new clothes. They're using different body care products. The people around them talk differently. The food they're eating is new and very different.
This is true in EVERY single foster child's life!!!!
Have I emphasized how EVERYTHING is different for this child enough yet?!
Yes. They should be safe from further abuse now. But that is not enough to offset how incredibly upside-down their world is. These kids, in most cases, WANT their family back. Of course they want their family and they want a life without neglect and abuse. But ultimately...they want their family back. They want their normal back.
The LAST THING they want to do is go to ANOTHER HOME!!
So Miss Lady at the Hair Cutting Salon...I know you meant well. I know you didn't mean to say that you'd love to become a foster parent and you're ready to take all the trainings, undergo the background checks, and open your entire life to the scrutiny of a licensing agency and/or the State. You just wanted to express how cute my kid is.
You're guilty too Miss Social Worker at the licensing agency. And Miss Check Out Clerk at the grocery store. And Miss Nurse at the doctor's office. (Different kids. Same story. My kids were cute and strangers offered to take them home with them.)
I've heard this phrase tooooooo many times!
Dear reader, if you are guilty of saying this to anyone else's child, please consider dropping it from your vocabulary. Even the most secure of children could be frightened of the thought of being sent to a stranger's home.
Tell me my child is cute. Tell me he looks like a fun child to care for. Tell me how lucky I am. But please, please, please, don't tell me you want to take my child home with you!