Karuna

Compassion; one of the four Brahma-Viharas (sublime abodes)

I think compassion is something we all struggle with.

When to have it, When you feel like others don’t have it for you, when you may be too compassionate…

It’s something I’m understanding more and more in my own life. I think how you’re raised and the way compassion is shown to you, makes a huge difference in your ability to do it freely. I’m also learning that compassion isn’t judgmental. In fact it’s the absolute opposite. You can and should have compassion for others even if you don’t agree with them or frankly even like them.

Although my rational brain knows this and attempts to give compassion to those around me on a daily basis…its hard to have compassion for someone who is hurting someone you love and care about. Specifically the Bio’s.

On a daily basis I think about my little ones real mom. What is she doing right now, while I get to sing with her baby? What is she thinking right now, while I worry about if shes brushing her teeth at summer camp? And sometimes even more frequently…I wonder if she thinks about me?

See my little one hasn’t seen her mom in two months. She’s MIA. packed up and moved, changed her phone number. Has made NO contact.

And if you’re anything like me, anger and frustration and a bit of sadness creep up in you when you hear that. You think about how it’s possible for a mother to do that to her baby? Especially this baby…this one who is polite, and funny and kind? The issue is I can’t live with those emotions in my life. They will start rumors with your heart, they will make your thoughts toxic until the vileness spews out of your mouth. I can’t afford that. So instead I have to acknowledge those feeling and let them be, but attempt to override them with compassion. I have to think of ways to tell my little one why she can’t see mom this week. I have to be there in full open love for the times when she’s crying because she misses her…and I have to be present in the hope that everything will turn around.

It’s really hard.

It’s really, really hard.

But it’s really, really necessary.

And all I can try to do is fill my heart with a much Karuna for her as possible. And hope others around her do so as well…because the difference between her an me is a thin red line. On my side stands a tribe of compassionate humans who have lifted me up and forgiven me when needed, and on hers …

well…

who knows.

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Vicaya

Interest and inquiry into experience

One of the most common questions I get is What made you decide to do Foster Care?  Many people ask if our Foster child (FC) is related to us. Although she does kind of look like us, we didn’t start fostering because of a family member.

A while back my guy and I started talking. We didn’t want to have any more children of our own. Never mind our beliefs in a highly over populated planet, our monetary concerns or the selfish reasoning behind why I absolutely hated being pregnant; but we also thought there were a ton of kids out there who needed a good home. If we were gonna be willing to be parents to two children, one wouldn’t be ours biologically.

I’ve worked in education for quite some time, and most of that experience was in low income populations. You get burnt out really quick, and what you learn is a lot of those children don’t have any stability. That type of environment makes for a tumultuous day. I always loved working there. I really felt like the kids needed me, but the days were stressful and most often I felt like I wasn’t making any difference. The thought of only having to work with one child was more appealing to me.

Having that background, and a degree in child development, also didn’t scare me away. I knew that some stuff these kids go through is horrific. I knew that some of the behaviors these kids exhibited were truly aggravating. But I also knew that they are looking for stability. They don’t need someone to pity them, rather they need someone to treat them like they are “normal” and be consistent. I’m not saying lose compassion…but they don’t need extra ice cream because you feel bad for them. They need the correction just as much as children who haven’t been through a trauma.

We wanted to do this. We wanted to use the thing we knew we were good at to help others. We wanted to give back in a way we could.

We love children.

So there we were. Standing at a crossroad.

and like the great Yogi Berra said

“When you come to a fork in the road, Take it!”

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Alright, Alright…don’t get your panties in a bunch over the mention of no “God” stuff.

Let’s break it down. I’ve been searching the internet far and wide for some Foster Care parents who don’t put a Corinthians passage every few sentences. No, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. Faith is very important, and I mean no harm to any of those great bloggers out there with a honest heartfelt message and a strong belief that helps them get through the day. My question is…where’s the page where people who don’t have “Jesus in their house” gonna go?

the answer: Here!

SO..if you don’t have Jesus, what’s all this Anicca business about?

Ahhhhh, well Anicca is the Pali word for impermanent. And seriously, what’s more impermanent than Foster Care? and what’s Pali may you ask? Well it’s the ancient language of the scriptures of Theravada Buddhism.

Oh, so I see…you ain’t got Jesus, but you’ve got Buddha instead?

Well… I’ve got meditation, I’ve got generosity, love and wisdom. And I’ve got a sense that you need more than just a little luck to make it in Foster Care.

Hope you’ll continue to join me for this crazy ride.

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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