Why Does He Do Things The Hard Way?
In the ever elusive search to find a new show for my spouse and I to watch together, we stumbled upon New Amsterdam. This medical drama portrays a public hospital with a new director who works to transform the hospital to a place of help and healing beyond the control of typical systems and funding. A couple of episodes into the show, you begin to learn the characters and how the new medical director Max pushes for change. Along the way, one of his colleagues recognizes that Max’s way of doing things is not generally the easy way. Why does he do things the hard way? “Better views,” he proclaims.
As a foster parent, I am constantly being confronted with the hard way. It is a burden I share with the children and youth in my care. School is harder when you don’t have early learning foundations. Relationships are harder when you are torn away from your parents and siblings. Sports are harder when you haven’t been playing and practicing for years. Peer pressure is harder when you just want to be normal and fit in. Life in foster care is harder.
Children and youth affected by foster care don’t take the hard way for better views. Their lives are hard due to no fault of their own. Choosing to take the hard way is only possible when you are in a place of privilege. Sometimes youth and kids don’t have a choice. Life is the hard way, and it doesn’t always promise better views.
Sharing the Burden
The hard way is not quite as hard with someone there beside you. Some of my work as a foster parent is just being there. Some of my work as a foster parent is trying to push down those obstacles that make the path hard. How can I advocate for the youth and children in foster care that I love so deeply?
I invite you to come alongside us in the journey. It is not easy, but you can do something. Maybe you can support a youth who is walking the hard path. Maybe you can tutor, mentor, or become a foster parent to a child in need. Maybe you can be a friend, advocate, or become a volunteer Guardian Ad Litem. No one needs to walk the hard path alone. I cannot promise better views, but I can promise that it makes a difference. And they are worth it.
Want to walk beside someone?
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