Last week, we held our Annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner. My co-worker, Becci Crane, works hard to make sure that this event is very special to match the specialness of our foster parents. The theme this year was Superheroes and Victory.
I sat next to foster mom extraordinaire, Jody, who told me a story about her very first foster son, “Colin.” She told me that Colin tested her in every way. He did all he could to annoy her, challenge her, make her lose her patience and anger her. This lasted for five months, but she refused to give up on him. She told me that he grew on her. She said, “You know, I still found a way to love him.”
Jody went on to tell me that recently Colin’s birth mother called her with the news that Colin was currently in juvenile detention, but that he’d specifically asked to hear from Jody. Jody told me that she would write to him. I told her that she’d made a difference in Colin’s life and she should be proud. She replied that she’d always remember him.
As I sat in a conference later in the week, learning about child development in babies, the lecturer spoke about a baby’s “capacity to endear.” She said that even when babies cry and fuss and need their diapers changed, their caregivers love them because babies have that ability to make people love them.
This made me think of Colin, and even though he was a challenging teenager, he still had the capacity to make Jody love him.