Tuesday, May 31, 2016

worth the risk

It was only a short 6 weeks ago that we got our first call for a placement of a 3 week old baby boy.  And ever since, we have fallen head over heals in love with him.  A baby who came to us needing love and that's what he's gotten.  Lots of it.  We have all since gotten attached to him and him to us.  It's been so fun to watch attachment happen with a child who is not biologically yours.  Little things like him turning his head towards my voice after just a week, how his crying changes and calms once he hears my voice, now the eye contact and smiles.  When he came to us, it was a little bit of a unique situation and we kind of got our hopes up that since they weren't working a case plan with mom or dad that he would be headed toward adoption.  Of course they had to look into all relatives but because of his situation, relatives, for the most part, had already been asked about taking him and said they couldn't.  So I let my heart "go there" about possible adoption.  I thought about what it would look like and how he would fit so perfectly into our family for the long run.  Then a week after he came, his case workers came to visit and said that he had a relative that was very interested in taking him.  {insert my heart dropping into my stomach} It was then that I realized that we needed to put our "foster care" hats back on.  That is what we are doing and we needed to mentally be there too.

Fast forward 5 weeks and this relative has now passed their background checks, the home study (which is not as in depth as ours was) starts this week and on Thursday I will take him for his first ever visit with this family member.  So the ball is rolling and unless something drastic happens with the home study or they change their mind, this is where baby G will go.  I'm not sure when or how fast this will happen but it's coming.

I know nothing about this family member other than what the case workers have told me but I'm trying to be supportive.  As far as I know, this is a good situation.  He is wanted by them and that makes a huge difference.  It doesn't matter if I think he'd be better off with us or not, family reunification is always the first priority and we need to support that.  We are foster parents and our job is to love these kiddos for as long as they are with us and that's what we are doing with baby G.  He is so, so loved here and we've given him the best start to life we possibly could and now we will watch him reunify with family and pray for him the rest of his life, even as our hearts are shredded to pieces.  Because this hurts to much, I know that we did our job well.  We didn't hold back and protect our hearts, we dove in head first and put his need for love above our own protection

It seems like every time we are out in public with baby G and someone finds out he's in foster care/we are foster parents, the first thing they say is, "oh I could never do that, I'd get too attached!  I would have 100 kids because I could never give them back!"  And they are so right, yes they probably would get attached, because that's what we do!  That statement makes me feel a little like they think I must have a cold heart or that I'm somehow stronger than your average mom and can keep myself from getting attached and that's why I can do foster care and they can't.  And that's just not the case.  It implies that only certain people can do foster care when really more people  can, they just don't realize it yet :)  The only thing that you need to be able to do in order to do foster care is to put these kiddos ahead of yourself.  I'm just a regular mom who said, "yes."   Another foster mom said it really well, "Did you know that we are never promised tomorrow, even with our birth children?  But knowing that you stood the risk of somehow losing your child did not stop you from having that child, did it?  It would be tragic and earth shattering if something happened to my birth son.  It would be tragic and earth shattering if something happened to my adopted sons.  And guess what, it is tragic and earth shattering when we lose our foster sons and daughters too.  But, the possibility of loss doesn't stop us from letting them in.  They are worth the risk of loss, just like my biological and adopted sons have been.  We are only promised THIS moment in time with anyone in our lives.  So why let the fear of losing a foster child stop you from investing in them?  You don't let it stop you from investing in anyone else in your world.  Choose to use the moments you have to the fullest and impact the world around you  for the good.  Because - ya know, you just might gain more than you ever lose!"  @libbyarnoldwan

This transition of letting go of baby G is going to be crushing.  It's going to be one of the hardest things I've ever done, but he is so worth it.  Worth every tear we will cry.  I've been stretched so much starting this journey and it's a beautiful thing.  Just like my stretch marks from my biological children are still on my body like beautiful reminders of what I did for them, I am stretching in other ways as a foster parent.  It's going to stretch me to say good-bye to this baby that I love like my own.   All this stretching requires a strength I've only been able to have because of fully leaning on Jesus through it. This is going to be hard but I can do these hard things for these kiddos.  Because they deserve at least one person in their life who is willing to do that.

So here we are getting ready to say the hardest good-bye of our lives and guess what we'll do?  We'll grieve and cry but then sign right up to do it all over again.  Are we crazy?  No, just willing to sacrifice a little for a child who needs love. :)

1 comment:

  1. Stay strong mama! You're doing an amazing thing. You're there for that/those babies when no one else is. You are there to give them that unconditional love! And while it will hurt to let him go this time, you have done an amazing thing for him. You were that comfort and love he needed. So, so glad you were able to be there!! Keep it up lady!