January 24, 2012
Traditions are an important part of any child’s life. Not only do traditions help create family and friendship bonds, they also provide stability and a sense of identity. In November, we spent the afternoon at a friend’s farm. For our son, this annual trip to the farm is more than just a fun fall activity; it is a tradition that helps keep him connected to his birth country, foster family, and first friends.
Each year at the farm, our family meets up with three other families. We share a special connection with each of these families; the family that fostered our son for the first six months of his life also fostered one boy from each of the other families. Although the four boys were not all in the foster home at the same time (two were together at a time), they are all within 13 months in age. Even before the second two boys were home with their forever families, we knew that we all shared a special bond.
Our tradition started by chance, since all four of our families lived within two hours of one another, we decided to get together to take a photo of the four boys as a Christmas gift to send to the foster family. We didn’t know it at the time, but we had started a tradition that would quickly become important to all of us.
Every year, our son looks forward to this gathering for months. It is important to him, and it has been so fun to watch the boys cultivate their friendships. We are very lucky to know these three other families. Even more so, we are blessed to have details from our son’s time in his birth country, and a relationship with the family that loved and cared for him for the first six months of his life.
With MLJ Adoptions’ Congo and Samoa programs, children are placed with a loving foster family after referral. The attachment and bonding that happen in a foster home play a significant role in adjustment and attachment once the child is home, as I have seen firsthand with my son. MLJ is proud that we can offer this opportunity for the children of Congo and Samoa.