Guest post by Denise Beeman Sasiain, foster mother to Summer, 17, who will stay with her foster family as she enters adulthood; Isabella Hope, 3, who they’ve had since birth and adopted last year; Xavier (aka X-man), 2, who they are in the process of adopting; and Daniella Joy, 1, who they’ve also had from birth and recently adopted.
My husband, Pierre, and I planned a much-needed dinner night out and brought X-man along with us.
The restaurant was an amazing Italian place in the Grove, with a young man crooning live to Frank Sinatra songs. Pierre was tired from a long week, but we felt that a night out would encourage and recharge.
Unfortunately, being more disturbed than pleased by the busy restaurant and the Micheal Buble look-alike, X-man started to whine … and then howl. I saw the struggle in my husband’s eyes as he said, “This was a bad idea.” With Xavier in his arms, Pierre stood up and walked over by the bar. That’s when something magical happened …
Pierre starting singing “a la Frank Sinatra” while he danced with X-man in his arms. Across the room, I could see the frustrated toddler disappear in front of my eyes. With X-man’s arms around the back of Pierre’s neck, they looked each other straight in the eyes. Xavier grinned and stared, mesmerized as his father sang to him.
I was so proud of my husband. He dug down deep and found more to give. That “more” was enough to entertain and transform our boy for the rest of the evening.
Back at the table, Pierre continued to play and interact with X-man. He kept him entertained by chewing on his arm and razzing his neck . X-man gave back with smiles, laughs and sparkling eyes.
Xavier, who normally has to compete for our attention along with our three other children, felt like the center of our world for the evening. Instead of a quiet night out for my husband and me, we had a bonding time with our son.
One of the great things my husband and I love about being foster parents is that it helps us each of us to continually grow and become “more” as a person. In order to meet the ever-changing and challenging needs of our kids, we feel a constant drive to become better parents and better people.
The most important reason to become a foster parent is to dramatically change the life of a child. But as a bonus, it’s a great road to self-actualization and an impetus for personal growth.
Editor’s note: If you are interested in becoming a foster parent, please visit www.fosteringflorida.com.