Currently we are in the midst of a long goodbye. Our foster children will soon be leaving us.
Court was in session for our foster kids’ case last week. The judge decided to terminate the mother’s rights and move the kids to a long-term placement with extended family in a neighboring town. We knew there were several options the judge could choose from in regards to the kids’ care. We didn’t exactly think it would go this way though.
Shock is not a fun thing to feel within fostering. Lack of control is very unnerving. However, this was a decision out of our hands and we have to go with it, as painful as it may be.
Our foster duo is staying the weekend with this extended family of caregivers as a pre-placement test run. They will move the next weekend.
Even typing that hurts.
I can honestly say that I do not regret one single minute of this fostering journey with these two beautiful human beings. It has been quite a ride this past year and a half. A ride full of ups and downs. An experience that has often left me breathless and exhausted. Somehow, we have held on tight, as a family, as we have sought to provide a safe and loving home for these kids. It has been hard, but needed.
We are not looking forward to saying that goodbye next weekend. It was hard enough yesterday, even though we knew we would have them back in a few days. I feel like pieces of me are walking around in another town. What are they doing? What do they see? Are all their needs being met? What are they eating? Are they sleeping well?
There is nothing to prepare one for letting go like this.
There have been moments this week when Scott has looked at me and said, “I can’t do this.” I understand. This type of process seems unbearable at times.
Days and weeks from now I am sure I will find a Hot Wheel or Cars car in an odd place in our home. I will feel that weight in my gut and tears will form. I will also, inevitably, find tiny black curls here or there left by our little girl. I know I will feel the same pain.
For now, I will pray. Pray for our foster kids’ future, that it be full of promise, love, learning and safety. May they always know they are special, smart and dearly loved. My hope is I (we) can still play some role in their lives as they continue to grow up. I also pray for our family of six that we navigate this time of grieving well and continue to hold on to one another tightly come what may.
This relationship with these foster children, has not been natural from the start …. and yet it has. They came ready to be loved. I am so glad we stepped up to that call. We’ve met their longings for unconditional love with open arms. I don’t think we were prepared or aware of the love we would receive in return from their tiny voices, tiny hands, arms and hearts.
What a gift we’ve been to each other.