It’s not new to me that assumptions aren’t a best practice.
But it is new how terribly sneaky they are.
We found a few when we got married. And now foster care seems to be exposing them in droves.
Something about living with and trying to raise people from completely different backgrounds.
And also really difficult to figure out how to move forward. When you don’t know where you’re starting. Or whether you’re heading in the same direction.
So we ask.
But even our questions are filled with our assumptions. Laced with tones we think communicate kindness. Or expressions we expect to resonate.
We’re all speaking English, but none of us are understanding each other.
A simple “hello” hangs in the air. And a fun fact meets an icy stare.
But then a gift finds a “thank you.”
We can’t find the pattern. The rhyme or reason to what works and what doesn’t.
Something isn’t working. Together, we’re not working.
We aren’t figuring out how to hear our dear foster daughter. Or how to be heard ourselves.
I wish there was a language barrier to blame. A scapegoat beyond our own inability to find common ground.
But maybe that is our common ground. The realization that we aren’t a fit. That we aren’t who this beautiful girl needs and wants and understands.
And maybe that’s okay. Or at least, as okay as foster care gets.