What defines loyalty to you?
I can’t think of a better example than the dogs I have known and loved.
My dog is always glad to see me… no matter how long I’ve been gone.
My dog is always happy to go with me… no matter where I am going.
My dog is happy to hang out wherever I am… even though there is nothing interesting happening
She loves everyone in my household… but she is loyal to me.
I had my sisters dog for a couple of days this past week. He likes us. His bed was here, his toys were here, is ball was here, his dish was here but his people were not.
He was great, we enjoyed having him but his loyalty was not with us… he was waiting for his people to return the whole time.
Where does your loyalty land?
My hubby and I just celebrated our 31st anniversary. My loyalty has been to him for more than 31 years. There is no one I would rather spend my life with. He is my person! This doesn’t mean that our life has been easy but rather that we have been committed to each other NO MATTER WHAT for all this time. My son got married last year and I hope they discover what loyalty means for their relationship as well. My daughter is getting married in 2 weeks and she brings her understanding of loyalty into that relationship as she commits to forever.
Loyalty is a tough thing for the children of the Other Mother. There is an innate desire in everyone of us to be loyal to our family. They are our tribe. When that trust is broken by betrayal, neglect, abuse or abandonment the sense of loyalty is badly damaged but rarely erased. Studies show that kids in Foster care almost never stop wanting connection with their families. No matter what that history holds.
We as Foster parents build a new family with the kids we are entrusted with. We commit to stick with them in their journey of healing and provide them a place to rebuild trust. If we’re good at our job we do this well. If we invest our hearts there is a bond of loyalty built on a solid foundation.
So what does that look like when the bio family is ready for their kids to come home but their loyalty is now with their foster family? It puts children in an incredibly tough situation. They love their family… no matter what the history looks like. They love their foster family… but it was never meant to be permanent.
In a perfect world they maintain a positive and supportive relationship with their foster parents as they rebuild their relationship with their bio family. In a perfect world they reap the benefits of both support systems. In a perfect world the transition happens smoothly with the cooperation of everyone and a focus on what is best for the child.
We don’t live in a perfect world.
So we make the best of what we are given.
If you are blessed with the loyalty of anyone don’t take it for granted. Honour their trust!
If you have a dog that is loyal to you, go play with your dog!
In the midst of the mess