Catholic Adoptive Parenting Columnist Heidi Hess Saxton
Catholic Mom Columns
Finding the Right Spot: When Kids Can't Live With Their Parents,
by Janice Levy (Magination Press, 2004).
Kids who can't live with their parents -- both those in foster care,
and those who live with other relatives -- have big feelings. This
book, appropriate for kids 6-12, handles them all with tact and
empathy through the figure of "Aunt Dane," the Mary Poppins of foster
parents. Foster parents will relate to the buxom caregiver, and
wish we had her unflagging optimism and wisdom. In the meantime, we
can learn from her, too.
A special section in the back of the book coaches foster parents on
how to help the children in their care to cope with the realities of
their lives by following Aunt Dane's favorite truisms: "Yesterday is
history, tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift."
Has a Home
Several weeks ago I wrote an article entitled,
God Have a Family for Every Child?
I’m delighted to report this story has a happy ending. This weekend my
friend “Sue” met the adoptive parents of “Kevin,” the older brother of her
adopted children who had been languishing in a group home.
It seems Jake and Natasha met Kevin at a “kinship festival,” when they were
considering whether to adopt a child. Kevin came up to them and cracked a
joke, and it was love at first sight. “We decided then and there that the
moment we took him into our home, it would be for keeps – no looking back,”
said Jake, a Baptist minister. They have two grown children, and it is an
adjustment having a younger child in the home again. But you have only to
look at Kevin’s glowing face to know that it is a match truly made in
This weekend the children all got together for a sibling visit, a picnic at
a local park. Their home study done, Kevin’s new parents are able to take
him on weekends while the final papers are drawn. “We’d take him more than
that, but the home won’t let us keep him more than 10 nights a month.” The
reason the agency gave them is that they aren’t licensed foster parents. But
really, does this make any sense at all? If he is safe with them 10 days a
month, is it really necessary that he stay in that awful group home the
other 20? (They were told it could take several months to finalize the
“Keep your eyes on the prize,” Sue urged them. Adoptive parents have to
“labor,” just as biological parents do – and it can be every bit as painful,
and often far more prolonged. No doubt the months of back-and-forth are
difficult on all concerned. But the labor will pay great dividends.
Writing that original article about Kevin was difficult – we all like
fairy-tale endings, with no loose ends. I wish I could report that there was
never any doubt that God would come through in the end for Kevin. That
wouldn’t be true.
But isn’t it good to know that God is even more faithful than we give Him
credit for? When the storm looms large, and our faith is sinking fast, this
story reminds us to take a deep breath and relax. The longer the wait, the
greater the joy.
Do you have a “waiting” story you’d like to share? Send it to me at
|Heidi Hess Saxton and her husband
Craig are adoptive parents of two children
Christopher (6) and Sarah (4).
the editor of Canticle
magazine, the “voice” of "Women of Grace".
A convert to the faith since 1994, Heidi is also a graduate student of
theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, Michigan, and a
frequent contributor to CatholicExchange.com.
Read more of Heidi’s writing through her website
www.christianword.com or visit Heidi's blog
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