This is an excerpt taken from Chasing Lilly. Even now, I think about it often:
“In our classes Tana, (our trainer), had tried to help us understand with a very helpful illustration. She asked everyone in the room to close their eyes and picture an empty swimming pool.
She said, “Now, take a bucket of dirt and dump it on the dry bottom of the pool. That dirt is “the bad” in a neglected or abused child’s life. Next, add buckets of water over and over. With each addition of good (or water), the bad (dirt) is diluted. Your job as foster parents is to dilute the dirt with so much love and caring, that the children can eventually begin to live empowered lives with self-worth and healing. Yes, the dirt has still happened, but let the healing water help it not to matter so much.”
I would think about that example many times over the years. There would be days I felt as if I myself had added to the dirt in Lilly’s life, because of my own impatience and anger at times with her behavior. But most days we were able to add at least a cupful of wonderful diluting water, and those have been some of the most meaningful days of my life.”