Sunflowers in a fieldI was driving to work the other day and I saw a beautiful sunflower that had just bloomed and the sunflower was standing tall and proud. The reason it caught my attention was it was in a field of sunflowers that had already bloomed and were now in the process of turning brown and drooping.

Those sunflowers made me think about some of the children in B&GH care.

These kids are not always on the same “blooming” schedule as their peers. These children have not had the same “soil” to grow and develop in that other children have. These children worry about survival such as making sure they have food, clothes, keeping their younger siblings safe, and feeling safe themselves. Some of the time these children go to school drooping or not standing tall because all the trials of getting through a day and or night. 

Then all of a sudden, the child that was droopy and not ready to bloom looks different. They are standing a little taller; they are looking upward instead of down. These children are starting to bloom in school or church or in their neighborhood.

Why the change? These kids are starting to feel safe. They are living in a home that is able to take care of them and their siblings. These children are now eating healthy meals.

They are able to bloom and reach for the sky and these kids can start thinking about their dreams and futures in a happy way.

Like the sunflower, not all kids are going to “bloom” at the same time. I think it is unfair for adults to think that they will. Before you judge them and compare them to other children their age think about the “soil” they are growing in. Is it healthy, nutritious, and stable?

If you want to help a child bloom - think about becoming a foster parent. You can enrich the “soil” that a child grows in so they can stand tall and look toward the sun.

Donna Yalch is the Vice President for Community Based Services at Boys and Girls Homes of NC.

Learn more about becoming a foster parent, call 877-211-5322 or visit our foster care page.

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