We will be looking at 2022 as a year of telling our stories. A year to share how foster care has changed our lives and has turned our worlds upside down. When attempting to communicate what the life of a foster Mom or Dad looks like we tend to overlook these special moments that affect our children for the rest of their lives.
Please enjoy this special story between a future momma and daughter...
The first time I saw my daughter Sunshine, I had to take lice eggs out of her hair.
I didn't know at the time she was going to be my daughter.
She was 7 years old, and it would be 4 years before she was mine.
I had gotten a call from my mother. She was a foster mom, and had just gotten placed with 5 children, all siblings. One had been in a private foster home, the older 4 had been separated from him and staying in a shelter.
All four of the older children had head lice, 3 boys and 1 girl. They were Native American, and loved their long hair, and let her know they didn't want to cut it short to help get rid of the lice.
My mother reassured them that she understood, and bought more lice shampoo. She was combing through long hair on all 4 children, repeatedly trying to pick out all the lice and eggs, but she was losing the battle.
She finally called me up for reinforcement. "Hey, I know this isn't fun, but could you....?"
I came over with my hair tied up tightly, and ready to work.
My mother directed me over to a chair where a tiny little girl sat with her little shoulders hunched, her face downcast.
"She's a little embarrassed to have head lice," my mother explained to me quietly.
So I gently got to work, and chattered as I went to try to put her at ease.
I poured product on my hands, and worked it through her gorgeously thick, long dark hair. I pretended I was at a high class salon, and she was my upscale client who had come in for a beauty hair treatment, as I carefully combed out nits.
Suddenly, this quiet little thing turned to look back at me with watery eyes, and a small grin, like Sunshine breaking through the clouds. She liked being at a salon.
Years later, through a series of heartbreaking events, she would become eligible for adoption.
Then she became mine.
Now, she and her little sisters pretend to be salon owners in my home. She takes turns playing with and styling their hair, and she sits patiently while letting them pull and tug on her still gorgeous, long thick hair.
And she smiles her "Sunshine" smile.