Part of the Dads Take Over series: Post by Shane Palmer
Hello little one,
It’s me, your “just for this moment” dad. You remember, don’t you?
I’m that guy whose house they brought you to and said, “Here, this is the place you’re going to be for a while.” I know it was scary. Truth is it was scary for me, too.
First thing I did was pray for you and me both. I prayed you were okay and by that I meant that you were not harmed mentally, physically or emotionally before you arrived at my door. Unfortunately, the fact that we met meant that you were in some form or another.
Next, I thought of what I needed to do for you, show you and give you in the short time we would share.
I then asked for the patience, courage and wisdom to offer you what you needed at that moment in your life.
If you don’t remember me yet, its okay. I know there have been several of us along your journey and that in itself hurts my heart; however maybe these next few memories will single me out:
I’m the one who met you at the social worker’s car door and opened it when you arrived in my driveway.
I’m the one who immediately took your belongings out of those trash bags and made sure you didn’t see your things in bags like that again.
I’m the one who prepared you a quick meal and drink before the social worker explained your situation to me, as you see, you hadn’t eaten in hours and it was 9pm on a school night.
I’m the one who had your room prepared for you even though I was given such short notice of your arrival.
I’m the one who laundered your smoke-filled clothes and had them folded for you by the next morning.
I’m the one who made pancakes, cheese grits and sliced you a banana for your first breakfast at my home because I knew it had been a while since effort was put into your meal.
You remember me, don’t you?
I’m the one who took you to see that play. The one who signed you up for ballet.
The one who came and ate lunch at your school, the one who heard you whisper to your friend, “He’s my foster dad and he’s pretty cool.”
I’m the one who told you there was a lot out there that you could do and many things you could be.
I’m the one who tried to show you so many things in a short period hoping something would stick and that you wouldn’t think life only had to offer what your were accustomed to.
I’m the one who held your hand in public because I knew you wanted the world to think I was your dad—not because I was awesome— but because you wanted the feeling of “normal” the other children had with their dads.
I’m the one who knew I was your “just for the moment” dad but acted as if I was yours forever, even though I knew you wanted nothing more than to be at home with your family and to be loved the way you should be and to be holding your own dad’s hand.
I’m the one who built that snowman and pulled you on the ice.
I’m the one who spent hours watching movies, coloring pictures and riding bikes with you.
I’m the one who likes to think he showed you what a dad should be; the one that hopes even though I was your “just for the moment” dad you knew you meant and still mean so much to me.
If none of that helps you place me, this final memory will be my last try:
I’m the one who when you left my home you said, “Please, Mr. Shane… Don’t cry.”
Shane Palmer is the husband of Dropping Anchors mama Alisha Palmer. They have been therapeutic and medically fragile foster parents since 2013 and during these past three years have welcomed 9 children into their home. Shane works in behavioral health and sees how childhood trauma affects adults and their coping mechanisms, many times affecting the families he works with in the foster care system. He is an avid believer in trauma informed care. In 2015 Shane and his wife adopted their two daughters from the foster care system. You can read more about their journey in this post about their adoption, and this post about their one year familyversary celebration.