It has not been a secret that life can hard. Certainly there is joy to be had. There are moments that we will never forget. There are memories that are imprinted on our minds that carry us through all of trials and struggles.
Life as a foster parent is one of the most rewarding things I have ever done in my life. It is also one of the most heartbreaking thing I have ever done.
We have had 63 children bless our home in about 9 years time. Obviously, many of them have gone home or they have moved to a different foster family for a variety of reasons. There is only one child we have said wasn't a good fit for our family. This was after 2 full years of intense struggles.
There is never a day when we don't think about these little ones. I can't name every little one but, their face is engraven upon my heart and in my mind.
That being said, "our newest little ones", have been in our home for 13 months now. Mom and Dad just couldn't pull it together. Sad, right? It really is. I feel for these parents and the loss of their little ones. I NEVER take a placement hoping I will get to adopt them. I take a placement hoping that I can influence parents and children to change their lives. I take a little one so I can protect them and love all over them. :)
These little ones quickly become a part of your life. They always feel like "my" children, from day one. They call us mom and dad. They do everything with us. We change diapers, comfort throughout long nights, take care of them when they are sick, bathe them, feed them and everything else you do for your own children. It doesn't take long for them to fit in your family.
These particular little ones were 2, 1 and 3 months when they came. Now they are 3, 2 and 17 months and they have been joined by a newborn sibling who is currently 9 weeks old. I am fully supportive of them being with their parents. People often think that is not the case and the state and foster parents just want to take kids away. That couldn't be farther from the truth, for my family.
Anyway, on court day, the judge announced they are moving towards adoption. The mom was understandably upset. We feel her pain. However, what happened next is on the phone was their Native American tribe. This was the 2nd time in 13 months they had been by phone for a court date. They announced they were going to take the children. Now, we knew this could happen. But, I am not sure how this is beneficial to the children. They will leave our home (not transition out) but just leave one day and move to a place where they don't know anyone. Sad right? But, this is the name of the game.
What people can't understand is the feelings that we as the foster family experience. Our feelings are often brushed aside. Everyone is concerned about the bio parents and the children but, sometimes it seems that our feelings are a "casualty of war". At this point, we and the children have bonded. Our children call the children their brothers and sisters. I know we can't take into account everyone involved but, at what point is removing them really in their best interest.
What people don't understand is this is harder than you think. This tears you apart and you grieve as you would for the loss of a child. This time they are pulling the band aid off slowly and the kids are here until the oral arguments in April. Few people know what it is like to see children everyday that they know they are going to lose and never see again in this earthly life.
I know you can say, "well you knew this could happen when you took the kids". You are right I did. But, I can't turn off the emotion and love that come with it. I would rather suffer than be a robot taking kids and not caring about them.
I draw peace and comfort through my knowledge of Heavenly Father's plan for us. I truly believe we experience what we need too. I know He doesn't give us anything we can't handle. I know the many truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I can't imagine His pain when He loses one of his precious little ones. But, if it is even a 1/16 of what I am feeling...
When we are struggling, we turn to many things to find peace. We cling to anything that gives us hope and comfort. The trick is to not be deceived by those things that bring us temporary comfort and those things that will bring us eternal comfort. You need to always strive to know that Heavenly Father loves you and loves them. He will make things right in the end. The little ones will know eventually, that we loved them unconditionally and that they left because of other peoples choices and not ours. We will see them again one day and our eyes will be opened to the understanding of why this happened.
Until then, we will continue to pray for them and love them. We will grieve and our hearts will ache daily and eventually the pain will lessen a little at a time for them and us. Hopefully, the love and safety we were able to provide for them will allow them to have a healthier start in their lives.
Please don't discount the pain we are experiencing. It is heartfelt and overwhelming. Sometimes when I am putting the little one to bed, she clings to me and her left leg slowly kicks against my stomach and the tears flow freely down my face. This is my baby and she will think that I am the one who abandoned her. The heartache is so intense I almost can't swallow.
But, then I remind myself for the 8,000 time. The Lord has a plan for us. He understands our pain and theirs. He will bring us comfort if we rely on the strength of His arm. Finally, in the end everything will be corrected. Love and healing will happen for all involved.
Until that time....bye my littles until we meet again my sweet babies. Mommy and Daddy will always love you.