Foster Parents & COVID19 -Unlearning Habits MAYBE…

(I have been learning a lot lately.
How to speak a new organizational language.
There are still so many abbreviations, and slang, and culture…and I only have eight to ten hours in a day to devote to it.)

Life right now is more than interesting.
Sometimes frightening.
Sometimes heartwarming.
Sometimes gut-wrenching…
especially when you hear some of the horror stories of cases our caseworkers are laboring through…things I cannot speak of for both reasons of confidentiality and because I can’t even put it into words. Questions swirl in my mind.
Questions like “how could a biological parent do such awful things to their own kids?!”

But I digress.
(Perhaps I am avoiding that subject altogether right now…maybe one day…)

Our Foster Parents are saints (well most of them anyway).
But sometimes habits are hard to break.

For example:
There are a couple of our elderly foster parents who are so used to being extremely independent and social. They love to get out of the house and spend some time shopping, but really what they enjoy doing is connecting with people they have known their whole lives. Isn’t that what small-town life is all about? Knowing that neighbor across the street. Or that friend you’ve known since high school. This is a small mostly rural community, albeit a very poor one at that. And this is the worldview and context of our dear elderly foster parents I am trying to broadly introduce you to.

Who is dying from coronavirus? More black people die in major cities


A trip to the local Walmart is an excuse to say “hey” to a neighbor, a friend or family member. It is the original social media platform for walking up to somebody and talking face to face in close proximity, because to do otherwise is “Southern” for rude…and no one desires to be rude around here especially these aforementioned foster parents.

But things have changed.

COVID19 is a pandemic.
People have died and/or continuing to die.
It targets many, especially the elderly and those with a susceptible immune system.

Stay at home orders still linger, and for good reason…
and yet we still have a couple of stubborn,
well-meaning elderly foster parents who venture out.

Why?

Because these old habits keep them grounded in life.
It is their life-line to sanity, when back at home fostering children with special needs and those with deep emotional scars can sap away that same sanity to the point of sleepless nights and paper-thin hearts.

They have been told to disconnect.
to stay home.
to become socially distant.
to “lay low” for their personal safety.
and yet, almost humorously (as humorous as times in a pandemic can get)
these face to face socially depraved saints are venturing out.
They are seen wandering the isles of the local Walmart store shopping for both food and fellowship.

Some times habits just can’t be broken, especially when those habits are physical and emotional lifelines. And so, with handbag slung on shoulders, and a need to converse where phone lines and texts cannot reach, they go out and fill their empty carts and replenish their social tanks.

African elder care Stock Photos, Royalty Free African elder care ...


Of course we know the dangers.
All the while reminding them of children back home they have agreed to foster.
Of course we express these concerns to them (countless times)…
but sometimes habits trump the risks and their cars can be found parked in the local asphalt lot adjacent to their anchor of community connection.

Something more to ponder today.
Until next time.

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