One of my favorite things about fall has nothing to do with the cooler weather, the changing leaves, or the apples. Of course I enjoy all of those things, but fall is the only season you’ll find me me sitting in front of my TV. In our home, fall means football!
My family and I thoroughly enjoy pulling for our favorite teams. We have a house full of different personalities so game time is really quite amusing. Some of us (as in my laid back husband) sit quietly and give a nice smile or a nod when a really great play occurs. Others of us (I’ll let you use your imagination here) jump up and down with enthusiasm and scream, “Go, go, GO!” when an awesome play is in the works. Ok…it’s me. I can’t help it- the excitement overtakes me.
Although I enjoy cheering for my favorite teams, there is no one that I cheer louder and more passionately for than the underdog.
You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?
The team that shows up for the game but has everything stacked against them- the ones who have heard others whispering behind their back (and many times even to their face) about how they are doomed. The ones who really don’t have much of a chance but find themselves in the game anyway. The underdog always gets my passionate attention.
I often feel much the same when a little soul shows up at our door.
They are well aware that they have started off with a slight disadvantage. They have heard people talking and they’re not sure how it’s all going to turn out. Because of no fault of their own, the odds are stacked against them.
But then… everything changes.
They are suddenly given a cheering section and the fans are all in. Some of them cheer with quiet strength and some of them cheer loudly and excitedly, but all of them are cheering for the same thing. All of them want the underdog to win.
I believe one of our roles as foster parents is to simply be cheerleaders. To be the ones on their side no matter what the odds are- to help them persevere when they want to give up. To show them they are worthy of love, dignity, and respect. To believe in them and cheer with so much love and determination that they actually start to believe they can win.
The simple act of building someone up and filling them with courage has the power to change a life. When I reflect, sometimes I see myself as a cheerleader. That puts a smile on my face. Each of us needs a cheering section…especially when we are the underdogs.