I am aware that when I blog about our journey, it is often the cute, fantastic, wonderful side of the coin you see. The truth is, that is not the FULL picture. It is A LOT of the picture. But it is not the WHOLE picture.
To make it plain – this journey is not easy.
Jeff and I were talking about this foster parenting journey via the phone yesterday. As is the case for most of you with children, it is hard for us to have alone time. We often get our conversations in over the phone to make up for borrowed time.
This is what we talked about:
There is a level of sacrifice that we know all parents experience. There is not a lot of “us” or “me” time. There is constant activity, constant parenting, and there is not an “off” switch. This sacrifice is never easy for any parent, but it is a sacrifice we are all willing to make – out of the great love we have for our children. There is no trade off. It was meant to be this way and it is a pleasure – even when it isn’t easy and we’re tired or even frustrated. None of us would have it any other way.
The part of sacrifice that travels deep to our core is that our children are foster children. That means their heart is always with their family – as it should be. Imagine this – you have a teen in your home and if something doesn’t go their way, they can say to their mind: “I’m getting out of here as quick as possible.” TD has NOT said that to us vocally… My point is to demonstrate that with both big boy and TD, our commitment goes full circle – but theirs doesn’t have to. They have a temporary commitment. We have a long term commitment, no matter what. But they have the possibility of an exit plan. This causes a certain amount of instability.
I am not trying to say our journey is bad in any way at all. But, I am just trying to demonstrate that your kids are stuck with you no matter what. (ha ha). But ours aren’t. And we wish they were – at least in their hearts – even if they have to depart at some point.
Maybe if you were in this situation, you would be better than us. But, I have to be honest, sometimes it hurts. Sometimes, it just isn’t easy.
We think we are about to bring in the 2 and 4 year old (just waiting for update from Childhelp)…and Jeff and I had an honest discussion. It is always worth the cost. We absolutely want them here. But we were honest to admit things will be hectic. We will likely be exhausted. Things will be harder. There will be constant activity and possibly an onslaught of behavioral and emotional concerns combined with regular childhood activities. We were honest to admit that it hurts to love the kids so much and know that their mind and hearts are elsewhere. We are aware of what we are getting ourselves into (somewhat), but we truly want to do it. It might require extra support, therapy for the children, and much more. Maybe even extra support from you, our friends. We might need to hear “It’s all going to be ok.” from you on occasion. I will be vulnerable to admit we might need encouragement along the way.
All that to say – Friends, this is not an easy road. This road is combined with love and hurt, interchangeably.
And be reminded, we are not in this journey with hopes to adopt…though we would love to adopt TD and other adoptable children – that is not our PURPOSE. We are not experiencing this love/pain with a promise of a bright end. No – this is what we are called to do. We are called to bring healing and love, and this love/pain always be part of it.
Turning my words to God:
We are in this for YOU.
We are in this for THEM.
We are not in this for US.
But, please give us strength.
Please keep your eyes on our home and hearts.
We are empty of ability.
We are so human, we need the supernatural.
Please anoint us.
Please give us wisdom.
Please heal our hearts quickly each time we hurt.
Please keep our heart soft no matter what we experience.
Please be near us.
WE NEED YOU.