Tag Archives: dad

A Night Out

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.

Pierre and X-man. Yum!

Pierre and X-man. Yum!

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.

So much love!

So much love!

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

The Place of Childhood Dreams

Guest post by Brad Weaver, a foster parent with Children’s Network of Southwest Florida, DCF Circuit 20

Most people who enter foster parenting do so because they want to unselfishly give of themselves to love and care for abused children in need.   After they become foster parents, they realize that love as an emotion is not all they will have to give.  Foster parents, as any parents, will learn the art of sacrifice. They will need to give of themselves for these children who come into foster care through no fault of their own.

We need to ask ourselves each day, “Who and what are filling our emotional needs?  Do we take time each day to nurture ourselves?  Are we getting sufficient rest?  Are we eating appropriately and getting enough exercise?  Do we take time each day to do something we enjoy?  Are we listening to, and depending on the core support people in our lives?”

Many of us know the story of The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It is a tale about a relationship between a young boy and a tree. The tree always provides the boy with what he wants: branches on which to swing, shade in which to sit and apples to eat. As the boy grows older, he requires more and more of the tree. The tree loves the boy very much and gives him anything he asks for. In an ultimate act of self-sacrifice, the tree lets the boy cut it down so the boy can build a boat in which he can sail. The boy leaves the tree; now a stump. Many years later, the boy returns as an old man and the tree sadly says: “I’m sorry, boy …  but I have nothing left to give you.” But the boy replies: “I do not need much now, just a quiet place to sit and rest.” The tree then says, “Well, an old tree stump is a good place for sitting and resting. Come, boy, sit down and rest.” The boy obliges and the tree was very happy.

For the abused children in our care, we may serve as the place of childhood dreams.  We may be the vehicle that allows them to sail through the stormy seas of life with confidence. We may be the place where they can come and rest.  In the eyes of the children we care for, we are not unnoticed, we are not unappreciated.  They desire to take nothing from us, but they cannot go on unless we give them our unconditional love which is not just the art of sacrifice, but the heart of sacrifice.

To find out more about fostering in Florida, visit www.fosteringflorida.com.