DEAR FOSTER AND ADOPTED CHILDREN

“When my adopted mother and father passed away, I began looking though an old desk drawer that had not been used for years. I came upon old, typed note paper, as I began to read the documents, I started to cry. They were the best parents any child could ever wish for.

Rose M Leo

Author

The only other thing that I can give to you besides love, shelter and advice is this letter.

I have hand typed each page. Within these pages explain so if not all of Dad and mother’s actions. It might explain what we are tried to do for all of you.

We took classes but nothing replaces real life experiences. To understand all the children we fostered, we thought the knowledge that we experienced should be written not only stored in our minds.  Keep these papers and read them. We, that is Dad and I think that things do not change from one generation to another, as far as raising families, values, needs, responsibilities, security, the rules, and the game of life remain the same.  The only things that ever change are fashions, and the people in public office.

Try never to let your children down, lean all there is to know your responsibilities and teach them.

YOUR CHARACTERISTICS AS A PERSON ENJOYING EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING

  1. When you feel comfortable about yourself:
    1. You are not overwhelmed by your own emotions-fears, anger, love, jealousy, guilt, or worries.
    1. You take life’s disappointments in stride.
    1. You have a tolerant, easygoing attitude towards yourself, as well as others, and you can laugh at yourself.
    1. You do not underestimate nor overestimate your abilities.
    1. You can accept your own shortcomings.
    1. You have self-respect.
    1. You feel able to deal with most situations you encounter.
    1. You get satisfaction from the simple everyday pleasures.
  • When you feel right about yourself you can feel right about others:
    • You can give love and you consider the interests of others.
    • You develop relationships that are satisfying and lasting.
    • You expect to like and trust others and take it for granted that others will like and trust you.
    • You respect the many differences you find in other people.
    • You do not push, bully nor manipulate people around, and do not allow it to happen to you.
    • You feel that you are a part of humanity, at times.
    • You feel a sense of responsibility towards your neighbors and fellowmen.
  • Meeting the demands of life:             
    • You take care of your own problems and issues as they arise.
    • You accept your responsibilities.
    • You shape your environment whenever possible; you adjust to it whenever necessary.
    • You plan head, and do not fear the future.
    • You welcome new experiences and ideas.
    • You make use of your natural abilities.
    • You set realistic goals for yourself.
    • You can think for yourself and make your own decisions.
    • You put your best effort into whatever you do and get satisfaction out of doing well.

THOUGHTS ON FAMILY

A family is a group of humans who live together.

A family is for each member and for all members.

As a family member, you are entitled to certain privileges.

We all benefit in the security of the family we share.

We can all share in the happiness of the family we share.

We can all voice our opinions about certain matters with our scorn or judgement.

Having responsibilities also go along with privilege. For the security we receive from the family, we have the responsibility of show our appreciation for the things that are done for us and what we receive. We are indebted to our family. We must understand adding happiness to the family unit is a responsibility.

When we voice our opinions, we have the responsibility in insuring that our opinions will not harm anyone.

FOR ALL AGES

Your foster parents are grooming you to one day be a leader in a family of your own. As I was taught by my parents, and your foster father was taught by his parents. Because we had our natural parents it does not mean that we love you less, or that your own parents would love you more.  All I can tell and teach you is what is in our hearts and mind.

                Remember children, you are now in the beginning learning stage of your life. You see, right now you are the pupil. We your foster parents are the teachers and the leaders. Our decisions are usually based upon sound judgements and vast experiences that can only be gained with age and mistakes we made in the past.  Sometimes, we may make the wrong decision. This of course is only human and expected. But when it does happen, you should remember that a person often learns more from our mistakes that from our successes.

                You are my foster children, as well as we are your foster parents, we can learn from mistakes when you all are responsible family members, Now, I will ask you a little question that means a lot to you and to us ad your foster parents. Do you want to get along with your foster parent’s ore your real parents for those that are being groomed to go home to their real parents? Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But once you have a strong desire to do something, you will have already developed the proper attitude to do it. We can feel our children’s emotions, and with their proper attitude, they move forward and going back to their real parents’ home.

Through you may feel the relationship between you and your foster parent’s is not always good because of conflicts. Most of this friction comes from the fact that your foster parents represent authority to you. At times, you will have a slight resentment of this authority. In most cases, you may not understand the reason behind the authority.  I will try to explain this to you in the next few paragraphs of this letter.

Authority is meant to guide a child along the right path. It sort of helps to give purpose and perhaps. direction in our lives.  If you always respect the authority of your real or foster parents, even though you may not understand the reason behind a certain ruling. You must understand that your foster parents do what they do to protect you in hopes to help you grow.  This alone should be the reason to respect authority.

                Respect and trust, a subject that may be hard for some to understand. We have learned that the more you respect your foster parents’ authority, the more we will trust in you. With this trust, more privileges will come to you along with responsibilities they carry.  As children learn to accept and handle more responsibilities they grow into proper young men and women.  You must show respect in other ways as well. Being courteous and thoughtful all the time is a great way to show respect. Of course, manners play and important part in this. It would be nice if you used the same manners you would use if a United States President or the Queen of England visited your home.

                Soon you will become teenagers, and there is always room for improvement, and will be the most beautiful awakening for you.  As foster parents of new teenagers, I thought I had a problem understand teenagers, so I joint classes to help your father and I understand teenagers.  Everyone likes to receive complements even your foster parents are no exceptions.  Your own cheerfulness is one of the best was ways to show your appreciation. It is always better to give than to receive. 

                The matter of money: Dan and I have noticed that your allowances has been going faster than you get it. We know that you need spending money for your own, just home must money you think you need often creates problems for parents.   This problem can be settled if you all will sit down with us and do some paper and pencil figuring.  Your dad and I have spoken to each other about this issue. If you are having and allowance issue, come to us and we will discuss this problem. Please keep in mind the following questions we will have for you and will bring them to our discussion.  Please have the answers to these questions prepared as to not waist your or our time.

  1. What do I need the money for?
    1. What is my allowance expected to cover?
      1. What will the family budget allow easily?
        1. What are other young people your age getting for an allowance?

Of course, you will make some mistakes in spending your money. You may even have to borrow from next week’s allowance a time or two.  Your father and I will not be displeased by this, but we will be displeased if you do not learn from you mistakes. You could make up a budget showing your income and expenses for one week.  You may want to ask yourself, where might you cut out some expenses, if that needs arises. You can always come to your dad or I and we will discuss how you might earn extra money, if needed. 

We must also discuss the importance to show respect for the needs of others.  This can be accomplished in many way. There is always room to improve, even for your father and me.  We all must learn to listen to the opinions of others. In fact, you also may find this a good way to strengthen and widen your own views.  You respect the needs of others when you are considerate of them and thoughtful. Show as much consideration for your brothers and sisters as you do for your friends. Yep, another rule, but if you think about this rule for a minute, you will realize that it is exactly what you would like them to do for you.  And while we are on this subject, televisions, I know you all will not agree on the same TV programs you like, but you must try to give up what you want to watch at times. The next time there is a disagreement of what TV program to watch, it would be nice if someone said, “let’s watch your favorite program tonight, and we will watch my favorite next week”.  When you make a kind and thoughtful gesture, it is called “sharing with others”.  Sharing material possessions with your sisters, brothers, and with your father and I, is a great way to show you care. 

                This is something many parents have a difficult time explaining to their children. To help you grow up, to help you cope with the everyday stress we go through, is not easy. Parenting is hard.  Discipline is difficult.  One of the biggest responsibilities of a foster parent or own parent is to see that you develop desirable thought and actions for the community around you.  Our grandparents influenced the thoughts and actions of your father and me.  Now, to make you understand, we are your parents, foster or otherwise must do the same for you. One day you will be influencing the thoughts and actions of your own children.  What does desirable thoughts and actions have to do with growing up? If we are to teach our children be a useful citizens, not only to your country but to your family and to yourself, you must have desirable thoughts and actions. With this you will then be better adjusted to life. I think you will also have a better chance at happiness.  Now for discipline, no let us call it training. The training you receive through your father and me, helps you develop desirable thoughts and actions.  Just as your body must be trained to participate in exercises and games, your mind is trained with experiences, especially those given to you by your father and me.  Some experiences will be in the form of punishment, such as when we take certain privileges away from you for periods of time.  We must discipline and you will become a better person. There are two types of discipline.

  1. Discipline by others, and
  2. Self-discipline

To make this letter short and not a book. Discipline is needed by everyone in all stages and walks of life. You may need a lot of discipline by others when you are younger because you had little, if any self-discipline. The discipline you receive by others will help you learn to self-discipline.   At present I am happy to report that you need less discipline by others that you needed previously. In the future, you will still need less. 

                The way you feel, think, and act make up your character.  It is the moral strengths, weaknesses that a person has, character is certainly this and more. These are developed early in life. Your happiness now and in the future depends partly upon how well you develop a proper attitude.  Remember what your father and me always taught you children about honesty. This is something that everyone should practice daily.  We were taught that in church, in school and at home. You know children, we are not born with the desire to be honest. We acquire this through guidance of our parents and others. These are necessary part of a good and honest life. A strong character helps a person meet any situation the arises, because the right course of action quickly comes to mind.   Your father and I hope you are open with us when we have our “together hour”.  We will set aside and hour preceding bedtime as our together hour. Eight o’clock is bedtime, so it will be at seven.  In this hour we will play and interactive game, or read a book aloud, or occasionally the hour could be spent listening to good music. This is only if there are no emergency family discussions, which may include “ironing out” hard issues.

                Children, as we come to the close of this “brochure of life”, we hope you keep it and read it often. There is only one thing more we want to relay and try to teach you and that is your need for independence.  Some day you will get that need to be on your own, do not feel that you are hurting anyone for feeling this way. You see children it is a normal and healthy attitude.  We want you all to know that we are behind you one hundred percent. There is nothing to fear, if you follow everything, we have tried to teach you.  If you happen to forget pick this batch of papers up and read them again.

                We love you all so very much so do not forget that EVER! We also are enormously proud to have been given the opportunity and chance to be a part of our live and be a part of yours. As you have families of your own try to teach them the right and wrongs of life.

PROTECT YOURSELF

All any human wants to feel is comfortable and at ease with oneself. All of us attempt to protect ourselves from uncomfortable situations, thoughts, and feelings. Often, we unconsciously protect ourselves.

I have compiled a list of ways humans mentally protect themselves.

  1. Rationalization: This is not a lie or an excuse that is consciously made up. It is a way of humans justifying something, so it seems reasonable. You may rationalize when you are uncomfortable about facing up to the real facts of a situation.
    1. An unconscious justification of the facts.
      1. Facts of a situation are neither accurate nor adequate.
  2. Compensation: Wanting to work towards a goal by find out it just is not for you. You may have felt badly, after that realization. Turning your interests toward something you are likely to accomplish is call compensation.  Over justifying a situation, faking it until you make it with talent, or hyper-dramatizing situations, at times may be good a good idea or not so good.
    1. Positive: Making up for something or short fall.
      1. It can be a healthy way to deal with feelings about something you wanted to do but wisely realized you could not do it.
      1. It can help you fulfill your need for self-respect instead of developing feelings of discouragement or failure.
      1. It can lead to new interests.

Negative:  Making up for something or short fall.

  1. Over doing efforts to compensate.
    1. Creating real or imagined handicaps.
    1. Covering up frightening or disturbing feelings.
    1. Actions that are overly polite may be a cover-up for hostile feelings.  (two faced)
    1. Blustering or talking in a loud, aggressive, or indignant way with little effect.
    1. Feeling inferior and bullying or acting superior.
    1. Inferiority in some areas my be based largely on the fact that a person has not been able to live up to the expectations of others. If you find yourself overcompensating, you might ask yourself if you really need to feel inferior. Perhaps you can balance your strengths against some weakness that is bothering you. You may not need to feel so downhearted about yourself.
  2. Daydreaming:
    1. POSITIVE: Problems can be solved by wishful thinking
      1. Most people daydream.
      1. Daydreaming is part of everyone’s life.
      1. Daydreamers are normal and healthy generally.
      1. What you daydream about today may lead to real accomplishments in the future.
      1. You may create simulations and imagine yourself in situations that you really can work towards.
      1. Daydreams may motivate you to work hard and achieve goals.
      1. They can lead to creative solutions to difficult problems.

NEGITIVE: Daydreams may not be pleasant at times and may involve fantasy in which a person is not happy.  There may be feelings of guilt or imaginary punishment and is finding relief from real life.

  • Displaced aggression:
    • Hurtful remarks, creating a scape goat, anger, and frustration.
      • Can involve a misplaced physical attack.
      • Unkind remarks or gossip which is meant to hurt.
      • Afraid, frustrated and do not who to blame. This tactic is used to satisfy an issue with others who were the source of their anger and cannot take it out on the person(s) who are directly involved.
      • Conscious Act: Creating a scapegoat is often a choice. This is a person or a group who is blamed for things they did not do. A person knows what he or she is doing and why.  More often a person will lash out or hit a person against somebody because of frustration with really knowing why that person was chosen as the object of their feelings. This is rare but can occur.
  • Projection:
    • Crediting someone else for your feelings.

Some people have some qualities, some ways of behaving, or some feelings that they do not like to face in themselves, they may not want to face these things because they know they are no acceptable. As a result, people may credit someone else with feelings that really are their own.  Moreover, we may project our feelings on others because we ant or need to believe that another person has the feelings, we want him ore her to have.  People often use projection to project their self-respect. At times all of us project, especially when we do not want to face certain thoughts or guilt directly. However, excessive projection prevents facing up to problems working toward solving them. It is also serious when it harms other people.

  • Denial:
    • Afraid to face a situation, avoiding or denying the truth.

INSECURITY

Overcoming insecurity, better coping with life, by practicing a little positive selfishness.  This means you have sufficient self-respect to care for yourself, to tend to your own needs and to take responsibility for your health, happiness, and life without hurting, manipulating, or taking advantage of others.

The gift of time: Give yourself time. Set aside time each day and ask yourself. “What is meaningful to me”? Arrange your schedule so by the end of the day, something was personally accomplished to satisfy that need.  Do not fear to be yourself.  If you admit to truths about yourself that takes courage to reveal, you will gain a tremendous sense of inner peace.  Rely on yourself and do not let yourself down. If someone else can give you desire and power, remember that power can be taken away. Doing for yourself can free you from being vulnerable to the whims of others. This will take away the power of others and places it your own hands.  Learn how to enjoy being alone by yourself. Like yourself and even better, love yourself.

Feeling secure means that you can depend on yourself for constant companionship. You do not desire to have friends around you 24-7. It is essential that you enjoy your own company and thoughts. Other people around you will constantly have opinions of your life if you allow them to dictate them to you. Always think and speak positively about yourself. If you do not know something, let others you do not know, and are willing to learn. Stick with facts when learning something new in your adult years, opinions can mask them selves as facts. Bragging is ill-mannered. But to feel secure, you must privately tell yourself you are a rather fine person and even fabulous. Self-esteem and self-worth are very essential to feeling secure.

HOW TO MAKE BETTER DECISIONS

  1. Make a list of all possible choices that are immediately available to you on one side and on the other choices that you would like to have.
  2. Use your own desires, likes dislikes to generate the list of choices.  Try not to have any outside influences help you with this list.
  3. After you create your list, talk to other people about the items on your list and if they can assist you with them or know anyone who can. Remember, this is the research stage of your list. No decisions are being made or promises to yourself or others, at this time.
  4. Get as much information as possible about items on your list as possible and take many notes.
  5. Play out the options in your mind. Look beyond the decisions and what the consequences are for each option you choose. The good, bad, and ugly.
  6. Identify your own needs, values, and goals. What can you do to make the items on your list happen?
  7. Honesty is important here. It is the line that can make things become a reality or failure. Be honest about what you want out of your life, love, and work. There is no right tor wrong value or goal. YET!
  8.  Marriage, relationships, and family will be important to some, but not to others. Understand your needs may not be the needs of others.
  9. What is important to you five years ago, if not a goal, will not be important to you today.
  10. After research is completed, each thought realized, then decide.

Choosing what best satisfies your needs, values and goals is not wrong. If the decision is still difficult or you are not understanding, who, what, where, when, and you are procrastinating, ask yourself why. Remind yourself that making the decisions is preferable but not making it, may be costly. At times, if you are still “stuck” hash out choices, your values, and goals with a close family member. This may clarify a question you may have.

PROBLEM SOLVING

How we cope with our own problems and others define us.  Problem solving is not easy, but you can learn to solve them like the pros.

  1. First face the problem.
    1. Take the same steps that you do in decision making.
    1. Think through what the problem really is.
    1. Write down some possible ways of meeting or solving the problem.
    1. List some people who might be able to help, if help is needed and you do not feel like you can solve the problem or issue on your own.
    1. Evaluate the various solutions; decide with at solution to try first.
    1. Number the other solution in the order they might be tried.
    1. Cross out with a red pen, those that do not seem sensible anymore after you went through the decision-making process.
    1. Get to work and fix the problem.

There will be times when you may not be able to solve a problem in ways you would like. There will be times when you may have to live with a problem. Part of learning to cope with life is to recognize when we cannot fix a problem.

HUMAN RELATIONS

  1. PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH
  2. SINCERITY
  3. WILLINGNESS
  4. KINDNESS
  5. TRY AND TRY AGAIN
  6. FLEXIBILITY
  7. DEPENDABILITY
  8. OPEN-MINDENESS
  9. LEARN
  10. ABILITY
  11. PERSONAL INTEGRITY
  12. EDUCATION
  13. RESPECT
  14. CONSIDERATION
  15. TRUST
  16. INVOLVEMENT
  17. FREEDOM
  18. UNDERSTANDING

THANK YOU SAPIENS FOR READING

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rose was adopted when she was two years old. She kept her first name, but her last name has been changed. Her natural and adopted have passed and she is inspired to share because she cares. She has helped countless people succeed and trusted by business owners since 1990. I am semi-retired and living the life I choose to live. She is an author and writer. She enjoys being a professional artist who specializes in oil impressionism and landscape oil paintings. She was an exhibiting member of Artist in Florida. She creates and owner of many social media sites. She blogs about fine art, marketing, and social media advice for the aspiring and professional artist, as well as small businesses. As a social media influencer, Retired, Sr. Florida, Federal and State Sr. Paralegal, she is a sought out professional in all her field(s) of study. She is traveling the world and writing books for various private clients as a ghost writer.

Project Manager @ Graham Brothers Construction Group Ltd. – Foundations Division

Laurie McDuffe writes:

Just wanted to let you know what an awesome job you did for me in assisting with expanding my business. From organizing what was already there to getting us started with additional retail shops. Your professionalism in planning and organizing a fashion show was extremely outstanding! Needless to say. What a success! All the hard work you have done has made a huge difference in our business. It has been a pleasure to work with such an amazing person as yourself!

I wish you all the best! Thank you!

Published by JAMES MAPES POOL

AUTHOR: This book is dedicated to family members who recorded and kept our history alive. If you are not included in this list or the book, it was not intentional. Dorothy Anne Mapes McConnell~1917-2004, Author of Dorothy's Diaries, 272 yrs., 1732-2004; Mary Mapes McConnell Harrison; Author of Outdoor Adventures with Kids, Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas, Texas, 1996, and previous owner of The “Virginia”; Mildred Eason Moorhead~1967, Bosgra -- Pool family history : pioneer family of Sioux County, Iowa. Held by Northwestern College, DeWitt Library Dutch Heritage Collection-Lower LevelCS71.B6 M6x 1967; Gerrit Bosgra, Bob Pool my brother, Dan and Vera Pool; Mary “Pool” Mesner my sister; Arlyss and Doug Pool~2000, Pool—Mapes family history book. Future historian’s hereafter. WHEN YOU ARE FINISHED READING THIS BOOK AND NO LONGER WANT TO KEEP IT, PLEASE DONATE THIS BOOK TO YOUR LOCAL CHURCH OR LIBARY.

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