I stood there in my kitchen with tears in my eyes, surprised with the amount of sadness I felt for baby M. I was prepared to feel a sense of relief. Glad that I didn't have to drag him and two other boys to children's services for a visit with his mom. But I wasn't. I was devastated. For him. He's not old enough to feel all these emotions and so I felt like I was feeling them for him. Because she didn't show up.
How our agency does visits with mom and/or dad is that they have to show up a half hour early, us foster parents get a text or call that they are there and then we drive to meet them at the office. I'm very grateful they do it this way as to not waste our time if they don't show up.
Today was the first visit with mom. She said she was going to be there. I took extra care in making sure M looked super cute (didn't take much because he's just adorable no matter what!) but I put him in a brand new outfit, combed his long hair, got everything ready to jump in the car after we got back from the bus stop and head to his visit.
We got back from the bus stop right at 8:30 and I waited for the text. Nothing yet. This isn't a good sign. Got a text saying that his case worker was going to give her 5 extra minutes. Those 5 minutes went by and she still wasn't there. Visit cancelled. I stood there with M in his carseat at my feet in the kitchen and just started crying. Right then and there it all became so real to me. How HARD this is on foster kids when they are old enough to realize what's going on and can feel the rejection. M is so lucky that he's a newborn and doesn't have a clue what just happened and I can at least protect him from that for a little while. But my heart was broken into a million pieces for all foster kiddos, who experience that on a weekly basis. "Will my mom show up this time?" "Does she love me enough to try and fight for me?" "Why didn't she come to see me today?"
It just revealed to me just how much more important our job is as foster parents to try our best to show unconditional love to our kids in care so that they learn that it exists. So that they know they are loved and wanted and cherished. I tell M that every time I give him a bottle. To do as much as we can and pray the stuff we can't control, doesn't harm them any further.
I struggled with being on mom's side. But after this, I realized that I AM on her side. I was cheering for her to make it to the visit. To show up for him. I'll still cheer for her and pray that she can make choices that help to turn her life in the right direction because that's the ultimate goal. For families to be reunited. Because that's how it's supposed to be. Foster care and adoption isn't how God wanted it to happen. Before sin enter the world, it was perfect. But now our world isn't perfect and we hope and pray that families can be restored but I'm so glad that there is an option like foster care and then adoption for children who have been hurt by their family. Adoption is the safety net. We are here for him for as long as he needs us.