Big, frightened eyes, staring far, far away. That is what I remember when Thabo (fictive name) arrived at Give a Child a Family. The little boy had been through so much, he had seen even more. Love and warmth were unfamiliar feelings to him. He closed himself off to others for a long time. He was fighting with peers and showed so much anger. Who can blame him? How is it even possible for a pre-school child to put words to, or even understand, all the awful and frightening thoughts filling his mind?
Thabo is one of the children who is introduced to a foster family, a family who has longed for a little boy like him for a long time. It has drastically changed him. He has become content and often shows big smiles. He is calm and almost harmonious. The boy talks about the new family members all the time, and he was a child who previously hardly spoke at all. It is amazing how a feeling of belonging and to experience being the centre of attention in someone else’s lives, can do so much.
I have driven Thabo to his new home for introduction several times. He is so happy and cannot be quiet in the car. He shows pure joy, when he notices the foster mother outside the house, who lifts him up in her strong arms as a welcome. He gives a fast, little wave to me when I drive away on the gravel road, with his interest towards new discoveries.
It makes a social worker’s heart happy, when others around him see the positive changes and even more when one of his child care workers at the centre thanks our team for finding him such a good mom. We can do this together! We can be a part in changing lives of children, one by one.
Written by Anna-Karin Öhrnstedt