Foster mum heartbroken by little boy eating raw noodles from the packet
At 26 years old, Aubren Dudley is pretty young to have a foster child. But she’s more than that. Aubren is a foster mum to five.
Knowing that siblings are usually the hardest to place in foster and adoptive homes, Aubren and her partner Zach, 29, first took in three bothers in 2017.
From there, Aubren, who works in child welfare, wanted to unite the boys with their two other siblings.
And so, the couple from Springfield, Missouri, now has five foster children who are recovering from childhood trauma.
Every day, Aubren sees the siblings adjust to their new lives and when she saw one of them, a nine-year-old, eating ramen noodles, she was totally moved.
The youngster – who is the oldest brother – had been preparing to eat a block of ramen, uncooked, with the flavouring powdered on top.
Instinctively Aubren wanted to stop him eating it but he told her that he developed a taste for it after preparing it in his old home.
He told his foster mum that he didn’t know how to boil water and would just eat it out of the packet and provide his siblings with the same meal.
A heartbroken Aubren didn’t want to tell him to stop what he was doing but instead, joined in and realised how vulnerable the children – aged nine to 18 months – had been in their former lives.
When Aubren shared the story on her Facebook, it went viral, amassing more than 183,000 shares.
Aubren tells Metro.co.uk that this story, where he would break a packet of ramen to share with his siblings, is not his worst memory.
‘This is actually the lesser of the pain I’ve heard him talk about,’ she explains.
‘If this little piece of his story can get that much attention, the rest would bring people to their knees.’
Aubren, whose sister was adopted and has other adoptees in the family, always knew she wanted to take in vulnerable children.
After she and Zach were unable to take in a blind boy, they decided to go for sibling groups.
‘It was never my intention to have biological children,’ she added.
‘I’ve always wanted to foster and/or adopt.’
As expected though, taking care of five children is tough for two millennials, but Aubren and Zach, who works in law enforcement, manage to make it work.
‘Managing five kids and working full time in child welfare is extremely difficult, but we have gotten into a groove and help each other out.
‘The kids feel so naturally ours, it is just an adjustment at first.’
But regardless of the pain her sons have endured in the past, she pointed out, their birth mum had her own trauma which played into her life choices.
And it’s important to help people heal to reduce the number of children going into foster care, she argues.
‘We can help adults cope and manage so that they don’t continue the trauma cycle with their children.
‘Our work is never done; we should spend more time listening instead of judging, or turning a blind eye.
‘Every child in our home is either elevated needs due to behaviors, or medical needs. So that makes it a new day every day. We are never bored!’
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