Picturing foster care

I have always felt this painting, done many years ago by a 9 year-old boy, was the most perfect metaphor for what it must feel like to be in foster care.

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His story about it was this: “The flower is caught in a snowstorm.” (The snow is painted in blood red.) “A nice lady comes along and picks the flower to save it from dying in the snowstorm.” (But once she picks the flower, it’s only a matter of time before it will die anyway, right?)

This picture always seemed to be the essence of the foster care dilemma: If I’m left in the storm, I’ll perish. But if I’m uprooted from my home soil, I’ll perish too. Some heartbreak just can’t be expressed in words.