Trading New Year’s Resolutions for Reflections

I’ve never been one for New Year’s Resolutions. Frankly, the entire idea intimidates me. It’s as if once a year you have to decide how you can be better. I’d rather work on myself daily.

And as a foster parent, the future can be hard to plan for. I find it to be more helpful when I take on a New Year to focus on New Year’s Reflections. Look back at everything you’ve done in amazement. It’s incredible how much we go through in just one year. And as a mother, it is incredible to see how much our kids have grown and what new skills they’ve learned. 

I have a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old. Just saying that sounds insane, when I think about how little they both were just one year ago. Here are just a few of the things I will be reflecting on this year. 

Last January, our little 2-year-old was struggling with sleep. He would wait until we left the room, stand up, turn the light on and sit in his chair and just wait for us to come back to him. We were so exhausted. It would take 5+ attempts before he finally slept! Then we moved his bed into his big brother’s room, and they’ve been sleeping wonderfully ever since! They even got a bunk bed.

Watching daddy comfort our little on our monitor.
My husband tried to comfort our little one and get him to sleep.

Last spring, both of our kids were still in booster seats and wearing bibs. I can’t remember when we stopped wearing bibs, but just this December we took their booster seats off! Also this year, our 5-year-old graduated from his tricycle to a small bike with training wheels. And our 3-year-old can throw and catch a ball with wonderful accuracy.

Thanks to vaccines, I have so many memories of family gatherings that our kids had missed out on the year before. From birthdays, mother and fathers day, to all of the holidays. It is so good to be together again. 

This summer both of my kiddos went to the swimming pool for the first time ever. They were TERRIFIED, but before the day was up we convinced both to get in the water with us. 

We adopted a cat and although she is very scared of the boys, she loves to cuddle up with me at night when the boys are sleeping. I still have a feeling she’ll come around to them. 

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One more important reflection for my family, this December we adopted our oldest son! It still feels surreal to me. I have never felt that the word foster in front of family as a diminutive. Foster families are real families. We wake up every day, and we care for each other and love each other and do life together. But it is nice to have the courts acknowledge the connection we already had. 

I encourage you to go through your photos starting with January of last year and spend some time reflecting. Remember the trips to the zoo, the birthday parties, the movie nights and more. Look at your family and be thankful for another year together because no year is promised to us. 

Bethany Duber is a foster parent to two incredible toddler boys. Born and raised in Raytown, Bethany graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2012 with the dream of becoming a copywriter for an ad agency. After 7 years of the ad word, she decided to change careers and is now working as the Special Events Coordinator at FosterAdopt Connect. This new career brings an exciting new challenge and allows her continue her dedication to helping kids in foster care. Bethany knows first-hand some of the unique challenges foster parents face. She also knows how incredibly rewarding it is to be given the title mommy and is thankful for every moment she has with her precious kiddos. Bethany’s passions include her family, improving the lives of kids in foster care, and fighting for social justice. Her hobbies include writing poetry and children’s books, podcasting with her husband about movies and supporting local KC businesses. 

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