Christmas is one of our favorite seasons! From Thanksgiving through the New Year we really enjoy this time with our families. Having Foster Children in the home makes this season especially fun!
Our experience has been that holidays with foster children are incredibly important and special. For the most part, our time with foster children has proven time and time again that children are just like adults and need to feel safe and loved. Once they feel safe and loved in a place, they open up and it is amazing!
This Christmas we were a little short on the fun! We have just transitioned two children home right before Christmas. It was fitting that they were able to spend such a special holiday with their birth parents - geminately back in their home.
The other foster child in our home, it made it hard for her to adjust. She was feeling a little lost without her entourage. She is still little and fully believes everyone is there for her enjoyment! But as soon as she saw the presents and our family at my parent’s home, she was over feeling lost. My nieces and nephews surrounded her with hugs and questions of what she had received that morning before coming over to Me-Maw and Papa's house.
Having foster children in your home for the holidays just means a few more mouths to feed. They need presents and stockings like everyone else. They need love and attention, naps and great food just like the rest of the family. The kids in our family do not know the kids that come in and out of our home are any different than themselves.
Holidays are a great time to teach the children in our home holiday traditions. In our home for Christmas we let the kids go first with their stockings and then presents. Once they have eaten lunch and go for naps the adults get to open our gifts and stockings. Once the kids are back up, Papa makes them home made chocolate shakes and then they eat again! Holidays at our house are surrounded by food, incase you did not catch that!
A way to make a child feel welcome during the holidays can be to ask a child to participate in the holiday preparations. When we had older children we carved pumpkins, help decorate the Christmas tree, bake Christmas cookies and pies, and general fun! We have as a family for three years now, gone up to Boone, NC to cut down our Christmas tree from a tree farm. It is a drive but well worth it. Usually another family from our church comes with us and our families laugh and have fun the whole day!
What better way to love on and make our foster children feel welcome than to teach them our family traditions and then love them back into their birth families home? God certainly has blessed my family this year and season. He has been gracious and good! We pray this Christmas season that your family will experience God's love and learn with us how God wants us to love those around us.