Congratulations. It’s usually something you say to someone who earned something and achieved their goal. It can be something you say when they won something. It’s even something we say in online gaming when someone levels (although it might be more like a “gratz!” than the full-blown “congratulations”).

Ever since the kids came to live with us, we’ve had people congratulate us and, frankly, it’s always sort of bugged me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always taken it in the spirit with which it’s intended, but the reality is that we would not have these kids if they were in anything less than an ideal situation. And that makes it more of a tragedy than it does something to be congratulated for. When people congratulate us, I have to admit, my first thought is to question exactly what they are congratulating us on. Congratulations that there are three boys that are displaced from their homes because their living conditions sucked? Congratulations that we are lucky/blessed/in a position to have a place to take them in? Congratulations that the fates brought us together for whatever reason?

Don’t get me wrong. I (I say ‘I’ because I have not ever really even spoken to Jessica about this to get her feelings on it) really *REALLY* appreciate the sentiment. And further, I’m not even sure what the appropriate thing to say is in this situation. You want to encourage your friend and “congratulations” does seem, on the surface, like the thing to say to let me know you’re happy for me or I have your full support should I need something. But ‘Congratulations” just feels sort of off to me.

What are your thoughts? If anyone has taken in foster kids, I’m curious if you’ve had the same reaction or if it’s just me being my usual, old curmudgeon-y self.

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