Help with comforting foster mom — The Bump
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Help with comforting foster mom

My coworker is a foster parent. We have had our differences in the past, but got so much closer this year because our LOs are exactly the same age. She has a 2.5yo and a baby the same age and prematurity as Sparky. She's had them since the little one came out of the NICU, so about 9 months, and this was her first placement. They are being placed with a family member in the next 3 weeks, and my coworker is rightfully upset and grieving.

If you have ever been through this, would you please give me suggestions as to how I can help her? I know she is getting therapy and support through her caseworker, but if there is anything else I can do (besides not bothering her too much with work stuff the week they leave), I want to do it. My heart aches for her.  

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Re: Help with comforting foster mom

  • I have not fostered any children, but I have dealt with grief with respect to IVF/IF.  I know it helped a lot when friends let me know they were thinking of me and called to check on me.  Maybe you can make sure to do that as she's going through everything.  I would make sure to check on how's she's doing over the next few weeks and months, too. My guess is that feelings of sadness or loss could come and go at different times.  Could you maybe invite her to do something 'pampering' like go for a pedicure or manicure or spend the day shopping?  Just something so that she knows you're thinking of her. 

    I think it's really nice that you are trying to be there for your coworker.  It has to be really hard for her right now.  I'm sure some of the other members of this board will have some great ideas for you, too.

     

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  • When transitioning a child, the hardest part for me is:

    Packing up their stuff
    The moments after they leave

    What I've appreciated the most is a friend to come over and help me pack up - aka, distract me a little from the intense emotions.  She didn't ask, she just showed up with some boxes and some bags. 

    I've also appreciated the one time a friend was at my house when the kiddos were transitioned.  That way, I had someone to cry with, and then someone to say OK, lets get this place cleaned up and lets go get dinner.

    The e-mails, texts and phone calls also mean alot.  So, if you can't do the above, just touching base with her letting her know you're there if she needs it.

    Transitioning a child is difficult. Knowing the children will be cared for when they leave your home helps. Having friends and family who will lift you up, helps too!
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  • image lilmufish:
    When transitioning a child, the hardest part for me is:

    Packing up their stuff
    The moments after they leave

    What I've appreciated the most is a friend to come over and help me pack up - aka, distract me a little from the intense emotions.  She didn't ask, she just showed up with some boxes and some bags. 

    I've also appreciated the one time a friend was at my house when the kiddos were transitioned.  That way, I had someone to cry with, and then someone to say OK, lets get this place cleaned up and lets go get dinner.

    The e-mails, texts and phone calls also mean alot.  So, if you can't do the above, just touching base with her letting her know you're there if she needs it.

    Transitioning a child is difficult. Knowing the children will be cared for when they leave your home helps. Having friends and family who will lift you up, helps too!

    I have not been through the reunification process yet, but I think all of the above suggestions would be great!  Honestly I think the fact that you are trying to figure out how to be a support will be supportive to your friend.  You might even want to ask her if there is something in particular you can do to support her through this tough time.  She might have something in mind that you would have never thought of.

  • Thank you all for the ideas. I can't be there the day they transition, but I will definitely text her that day (and the next day), and we will do lunch when she comes back to work. Maybe we'll go get a manicure together. Its especially hard because I am so used to sharing milestones with her, and now I'll have a baby and she won't, and I want to be sensitive to that. I know it will be awkward for a while, but I really want to support her. She is doing an awesome service to these kids and deserves to feel that her efforts are appreciated. 
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    Lilypie Premature Baby tickers
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