Foster kids are alot like holiday presents…

December 6, 2010 at 9:32 pm 22 comments

Today I rode my bike through this outside mall area of my city called The R___.  During the holidays it is always decorated amazingly.  While the holidays make me incredibly depressed, I do like to look at the decorations. As I was riding through the mall area, my bike suddenly stopped short to where I almost fell off.  As I got my footings, I turned and looked and there in front of me was a sign “Cinnabon- Buy 1 Get 1 Free – TODAY!”

For those that do not know what a Cinnabon is;  it is a wicked sweet, wicked delicious cinnamon roll covered in frosting and melting hot.  It is so bad for you, but it is amazing.  If you have any health problems, I don’t think you can eat one….because well, they are really bad for you. I acutally don’t eat them alot because they are VERY expensive, like $3.69 for one.

I thought I was going to pass out staring out the sign…as the drool dripped from the sides of my smiling mouth.

I searched the pockets of my piece-of-shit jeans and found $5.34.  I locked my bike up and walked into the Cinnabon store.  It smelt fabulous.  The lady at the counter said “what can I get for you?” I grinned and said “i’ll take the special … and a coke, but i need a size so everything costs 5 bucks or less.” She grabbed a medium coke and started to get my Cinnabon when she said “one to go?” I said “What?….oh no, both for here. thanks” I think she laughed.  She handed me my hot, mouth-watering Cinnabons and my coke and I sat down at a table that looked out the window at all the decorations.

Some of the decorations were huge presents, wrapped beautifully in different colors with different ribbons.  They were different sizes and shapes, so clearly it was a surprise what was in them.  As I looked at these presents,  I realized that foster kids are so much like holiday presents…

You see, people are given a present.  The presents come in different shapes, and sizes, and are wrapped in different colors.  Some are wrapped real tight, so it is hard to open them and see what is inside.   Others are wrapped loose and it is easy to open them up and get to the inside.  Inside is a HUGE surprise.   When people get to the insides, they decide if they like the present or not.  If they like it, they keep it….If they don’t like what they find inside, they discard it, throw it away, or return it — for something better.  The present never gets a choice.  A present that is returned, may sit on a self for along time, waiting for someone to buy it.  Or eventually it may get so old, it is simply thrown away.

Don’t you see how this is just like being a FOSTER KID…?

Foster kids are given to foster parents…the kids don’t have a choice.   Sometimes it is a total surprise when the foster parents get the call in the middle of the night.  Sometimes the foster parents know they are getting a foster child, but when?  Alot of surprises surround the arrival of the child. When a foster child comes to a new home, it is a surprise about their shape, their size, their color, and many other characteristics; just like a wrapped present.

Some foster children are wrapped real tight with many layers and tight bows and it takes A VERY LONG time for people to “find out what’s inside.”  It’s a struggle to get to know them.  Other foster children are barely wrapped at all and reveal what is inside quickly.


When foster parents discover what is “inside” a foster child as they begin to get to know the child, the behaviors, and the child’s idiocrasises;  they decide if they like the child or not…if they want the child or not.  If  the foster parents like what they got, they keep the child.  If foster parents don’t like what they got, they return or discard the child … for a better one.

And foster kids that keep getting returned when no-one likes them, may sit in group homes for a long time…waiting.   And like a returned present, a returned foster child may get so old that it is thrown away too — kicked out of the system.

As I finished my Cinnabons, I realized that I was no better than an unwanted present. That gift that no-one ever wanted. I felt like shit, even though I was stuffing my face with the sweetest food on the planet.   I got up to leave, and I felt like throwing up the 2 Cinnabons I just ate…as I stared out the door at the beautifully wrapped holiday presents.

Instead, I quietly wished that all the foster kids in the world this holiday season

were WANTED presents…

…that a loving, caring family would keep them…no matter what was inside.

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What makes a good foster mom? … … a reader asks. Snowflakes teach us so much about foster kids


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