It's been an interesting process watching my husband grow up.
|Our first time meeting |
Gordon's Well, 2002
We didn't really know what we were getting into when we started the process of becoming foster parents. In one aspect, it has become a sense of healing for Rocky. He was a ward of the state when he was 16 years old - detained in juvenile hall for 9 months and living in two separate group homes far away from his family home, until he aged out at 18.
I've sat in our training and watch him tear up at hearing personal accounts and stories of children entering the system. We've heard about the emotional damage and confusion of children being taken away from their parents. How they have left their homes often in the middle of the night with nothing more than the clothes on their backs, sometimes even missing a shoe on their foot.
Rocky knows what it's like. I've had him whisper in my ear, "that's awful." His eyes turn red and he stares straight ahead. I realize the emotion he feels is of being devalued.
We were 19 when we met. Between 18-19, he was living up his freedoms. Lots of drinking, drugs, and partying. When I met him, I knew he was broken. I always had this feeling that he felt relieved to meet me - that someone was there to take care of him.
Foster care has opened up a door of personal healing for Rocky. We have had new conversations. He has spoken openly about past experiences. He has shared some deep thoughts and painful truths that had been masked behind years of alcohol abuse.
|Las Vegas 2005|
We've had conversations where Rocky has expressed future interest in taking on young men that were in situations similar to his. He feels like he can offer wisdom and guidance to displaced youth. This sad child that was devalued has become a man that feels he can share his worth.
And that's when I realized my husband grew up.