When is a Family a Family?
My family and I were in the Texas flood. The water had risen to the second story of our house by the time the rescue boat arrived. My parents and siblings had to climb out the window on the second floor to get into the boat.
When I jumped onto the windowsill to follow them, the man who came to rescue the family told me his boat was only for families and another rescue boat would come for the dogs. I stood on my hind legs at the window for two hours, watching and waiting. The whole time I stood there, the same question kept repeating in my head, “Why didn’t my mom or dad tell the boatman I was a member of the family?”
The next day my mom came to the dog shelter to tell me our house was inhabitable, and the family had to move away to my grandma’s house.
That’s when she told me, “We can’t take you with us, but I promise I will help the shelter find you a good family.”
She did keep her promise. I now live with a lovely family. When I arrived that first day, they told me that they knew how upset I was about losing my family. They promised me that they would be my forever family. I want to believe them, but I’m not sure I can ever trust another family, no matter how nice they seem.
I can only imagine the terror you experienced facing a devastating, life-threatening event and losing your family on the same day.
It will take time and ongoing caring for you to trust your new family will be yours forever. From what you say about your family, it seems they understand what you have been through and your need to trust that they will be your family forever.
Families who adopt dogs who have been in a disaster are different than other adoptive families. These families chose to adopt traumatized dogs because they want to help them recover from past hurts and live happy lives. Your family has committed to providing you the time, patience, and understanding so that you will eventually come to trust them. I hope knowing that you live with a family that wants you to believe in them as much as you do might offer you some comfort.
© 2021 Geneva Woodruff
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