What those papers don’t tell us is who he is.
When he came into care, he was separated from his brother and sister. His sister had severe parentified behaviors, and his younger brother was a constant source of conflict. His brother and sister are now in separate adoptive homes.
Biological parents have the privilege of learning everything about their child as the child grows. They have the opportunity to protect their child from negative influences, and expose the child to a world they deem safe/acceptable. As a foster parent, we do not have that privilege.
After three months as a family, we have settled into a routine. We have learned that the situation he came from and the diagnosis he has been assigned may be in our child’s records, but they do not define him as a person. He is kind, funny, compassionate, and artistic. He has brown eyes that are surrounded by eyelashes that would make a super model jealous. He has tiny hands that adore Legos and Lincoln Logs. More than anything else, he loves music. That is our child.
After long hours of study and creative education, he is now passing kindergarten. He reads, he writes, and he is now actively participating in his courses. He tells us that someday, he wants to be a teacher just like the ones that help him. We couldn't be more proud.
The day I handed him his camera, was the day our relationship truly began. He wanted to learn every button, feature, and setting. To my surprise, he remembered everything I taught him and used those skills to make himself a better photographer. He prioritized his images, and captured the things that he deemed to be significant. Thus we got to know him, through the lens of his camera.