A while back, a friend of mine wrote a story for my little Pumpkin when she was moving - to help with transition. It worked like a charm and helped a young toddler understand on a different level what would happen when she moved.
Officially, it is called a social story. A social story can be used to help kids understand normal reactions to situations. Mostly they are used with children on the autism spectrum to understand normal social situations and the correct responses, but I believe they can useful for all children in foster care because they help kids understand normal reactions to UNUSUAL situations - like moving from one home and one set of parents to another.
Well, my friend came though again and wrote a story for Bug and Buddy. I thought I would post them here with a few modifications for confidentiality (names and specifics changed, but in the book they LOVED seeing and hearing their own names).
Buddy's story was written for a 7 year old who loved superheros and helping people and reunifying with his parents. When I read the story to him, he asked, "Why is everything so super in this book? Cause I like it." Then he asked, "Can I really stomp my foot if I'm mad? Because, sometimes I miss you." Spot on in helping him verbalize some of the mixed up emotions present in reunification or adoption situations.
Bugs story was written for a 4 year old girly girl, pink-loving princess. She was also reunifying with her parents. She also loved her story, as well as the pictures of the pretty princess (clip art) I put on the front. She also really, really enjoyed the photos of her, Buddy, her parents and me throughout the book.
Feel free to run with this concept for your current or future foster kids - it is a lot of work to put together, print out the pics, etc., but SO worth it! Let me know if you want specifics on HOW I put the books together, or just use your creativity.
Once upon a time, there was a superhero named Super Buddy. Super Buddy does not have a cape, but he has something even better. He has strength and gentleness inside him that make him so special to those who love him!
Super Buddy has super powers. He is a great big brother, helpful and kind. Lots of people love Super Buddy!
One day, Super Buddy and his little sister, Princess Bug move to a new place. A place they have never been before. They meet someone who love them and take care of them. Her name is Alisa.
Super Buddy goes to school, takes swimming lessons, and gets even better at using his super powers of caring, helpfulness and kindness.
Time goes by, and Super Buddy and Princess Bug spend time with Alisa and time with their parents, who loves them very much.
One day, the word comes from the galaxy that Super Buddy and Princess Bug are going to live with their parents again! Super Buddy has lots of feelings inside about moving.
When Super Buddy moves with Princess Bug, he is excited to live with his parents again, but he misses Alisa, too. When he misses Alisa, Super Buddy can send a letter in his magic mailbox. He can talk to people. He can stomp his foot if he is mad and he can cry if he is sad. When he is happy, he can remember that it is okay to smile and laugh.
Super Buddy can remember his super powers of strength and gentleness. His strength inside helps him deal with hard things. Super Buddy’s gentleness helps him treat others with care, helpfulness and kindness. These are the things that make Super Buddy so super.
Super Buddy can trust that Alisa is sending her love to him, even when they are apart. Super Buddy can know in his super heart that so many people love him. And he can believe that this love is more powerful than any super power.
Once upon a time, in a kingdom far, far away, there was the greatest princess in all the land. Her name is Princess Bug.
One day, Princess Bug and her big brother, Super Buddy, move to a new house with someone who will love and care for them. Her name is Alisa.
Princess Bug learns lots of things at Alisa’s house. She gets a special tutu and wings and a magic wand at Christmas time!
Princess Bug is so great. Now that she is four, she can do lots of great things. Her favorite thing to do is love others. She can also zip bags, write her name, snap her fingers, pour her juice, put on her seatbelt, put on her clothes, walk her baby to the park, brush her teeth and stay in bed!
Time goes by, and Princess Bug and Super Buddy spend time with Alisa and time with their Parents, who loves them very much.
One day, the word comes from the kingdom that Princess Bug and Super Buddy are going to live with their Parents again! Princess Bug has lots of feelings inside about moving.
When Princess Bug moves with Super Buddy, she is excited to live with her Parents again, but she misses Alisa, too. When she misses Alisa, Princess Bug can say, “I miss Alisa.” When she feels sad, she can cry. When she feels mad, she can stomp her foot. When she feels happy, she can laugh.
Sometimes, Princess Bug can dream happy dreams about Alisa and the fun times they had.
Princess Bug can know in her heart that Alisa will always love her, no matter what. And she can know that she is so special for all the great things she is inside: strong, smart, sweet and funny. Princess Bug is the greatest princess ever.