If I were a fly on the wall in your home, I might find:
You tip-toeing on eggshells around your child and their power struggles, fearful of the next outburst or meltdown.
Receiving high-fives and near saint-hood from people because “you’ve saved these children” through foster care or adoption, but inside you are buried with shame at how often you lose your patience with kids who have already endured so much.
You know you need help but barely survive each day of therapy, appointments, visitation, calls from the school, and behaviors before you crash into a chocolate/ice cream/carb/wine/Netflix coma at night, and you simply don’t have the energy for ONE more thing.
It’s not like you set out on this journey wanting to end up like this.
You took all the agency’s required classes and truly felt prepared. But I’m here to tell you, it’s not your fault.
What you may be experiencing is called Secondary Trauma. Your nervous system has started to respond to your children with the same cortisol levels as a combat veteran. Your child’s trauma and the way it effects them is not their fault, but it’s still hard for their caregivers and that’s not your fault either.
“My husband and I especially like the questions we are asked to answer. I was reading the other day as we were in the car and answering those questions really opened up conversation between the two of us. It made me realize how much goes unsaid from exhaustion and brain fog.” – Jenny Hillbig
You need more than just a bubble bath and a long walk. You need simple, effective, research based steps to recover from secondary trauma and caregiver burnout. So you can show up for your child.
Parenting Through Valleys is that resource. It includes 6 simple steps to overcome burnout for foster and adoptive parents.
I love to share my heart for vulnerable children and families through this blog. I am a mother to five teens/tweens through birth, foster care, and adoption. We have struggled with nearly every diagnosis and challenge imaginable, and lived to tell about it! God has used those experiences to remake me and I’m sharing what we’ve learned along with input from hundreds of other families and professionals. This is a place of resource and hope, with a dose of Jesus, for foster and adoptive families to overcome and thrive.