Long Goodbye

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.



12 thoughts on “Long Goodbye

  1. Oh, I am feeling your pain. Ours were supposed to leave at the beginning of the year, and that last week of packing them up was the roughest of my entire life. Then things changed and we had to move them back in and they’re still here. I’ll never forget that horrible week of emotions, grief, and sadness. I am afraid that I’ll have to go through it again, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Not feeling those things would mean not loving them, and that isn’t an option. You have done well, and God will fill you up again. He will also watch over your precious little ones. And who knows – things always change in foster care, and hopefully if nothing else you can still be a part of their lives. Blessings,
    Instant Mama

    • Thank you so much. You have been a faithful follower of our journey and I appreciate being able to relate to you and your story. I love how you said, “God will fill you up again.” I have been hanging on those words. I love the thought of that.
      Uncertainty is so unnerving. You know this full well. It is quite humbly to try to find peace in this place.
      Thanks again for commenting and entering in. It feels so good to be lifted up and supported.

      • We are in a unique position that not many can relate to – I think it is important to seek and offer that support. God is good, and He will meet each need if we let Him.

  2. oh, friend. i can’t believe this. what a heartbreaking reality you guys are walking into. my heart is so heavy for you and your entire family. prayers that you guys will be able to trust and love well even in the hard, hard goodbyes. praying that you will have insight into the grieving process for each of your kids, too– and that you would give yourselves loads of grace during these days. love you and am so inspired by your love for others.

    • Thank you for your words, Laura. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all as well. I know we are different people. God has grown both of us (you and I) within this season of giving, this season way out of our comfort zones. It has been hard at times… well, let’s be honest…. often. I have to believe the Lord was glorified even through our toughest days.
      I don’t look forward to the goodbyes ahead. I am sad and weary. I don’t know how it will all go. I do know I will be a mess, but I kind of think that is okay.
      Our family has loved these kids with so much of ourselves. I am their mama. I have to let go and trust. It seems unbearable. Knowing this is part of being a foster parent (letting go), doesn’t make it less painful.
      Thanks for being there, even though you were WAY OVER THERE. 🙂
      Praying God will meet us right where we are and help us. Love you, sweet sister.

  3. Our prayers go out for you. My wife and I fostered a little girl from the hospital through her first birthday. It started out being an almost sure thing the little girl would be adoptable. As it turned out, the courts returned her to her birth parents even though the requirements of the case plan were not met.

    Although the decision was very painful and difficult to understand, we still believe God did not make a mistake. Seven years later God continues to give us the unprecedented blessing of an ongoing relationship with the girl and her family: http://blogs.ntm.org/david-abbott/2012/07/11/a-visit-from-some-special-girls/

    • I love hearing from fellow foster parents. Thank you, David, for reaching out like this.

      No one can prepare you for this kind of pain and loss. We do have to believe that the Lord has a plan and we are to trust Him.

      Our kids are with us for four more days. We are going to savor this time with them as best we can.

      I will enjoy reading more about your story. Off to check your blog…

  4. Reading this broke my heart for you. Yet, you must know that God has them in his hand and that they were with you because only you could give them what they needed.

    We are in the process of becoming foster parents and reading of your pain just shot straight to my heart, but I know that those kids got a lot of love from your family and that is good. x

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