The last blog post took me nearly a week to finish because I get so tired at night (when I usually write).
Miraculously, as I type, both babies are sleeping and Little Sister is playing independently. Instead of taking a much needed shower, I decided to blog. Ha! Choices, choices.
As I continue on with Baby J’s update, I want to acknowledge that I know these past few entries are not happy happy joyful. If I only gave happy, confident posts, I would not be representing the life of a foster parent fairly. There is such joy in foster parenting and also such “deepness” or “seriousness”. You spend your lives together as a normal family would, but many times with a nagging reminder in your ear that it might not last.
As I drove to court last week, I wasn’t sure what the outcome would be. Once again, I can’t share case details. If I could, it would make it so much easier to describe everything I am sharing. But, since I can’t, I will say that I went to court with uncertainties.
For those of you who are parents, can you imagine someone who doesn’t know “Johnny” [insert your child’s name] very well, telling you that they think it is best he lives with someone else? They happened to find a bloodline to Johnny and that is enough to tell us that it would be best for Johnny to live with them. HUGE ASSUMPTION, if you ask me.
You might say, “Well, you are foster parents. You knew some kids would have to leave.” Yes, this is what we signed up for. To help children and love them and care for them. We always expect (initially) that they might leave. The thing that has been extra difficult with Baby J is that there has been little involvement from his birth parents. Usually, I am working with a birth parent (which is called co-parenting) as they work toward their parenting goals. Such was the case with Little Boy (one of our first placements). I was so attached to him and it was hard to let him go, but because I was working with his parent, there was a level of peace I had knowing he was going to be with a parent that worked so hard to get him back. With Baby J, I have been mommy and Jeff has been daddy. He doesn’t know anyone else as his parents. We have had him from day 5. He is as much our child as Little Brother, Little Sister and Baby D.
Knowing he looks to me as Mommy and Jeff as Daddy, my heart is concerned for him. If anyone ever told him he had to leave, he would be so lost. I know children adjust easily, as so many like to say. But, let’s be honest. They shouldn’t have to adjust when they don’t have to. He would be looking for us, wondering where we are.
The other day, Baby J had a visit with part of his birth family, who I have really come to like. They are so supportive of me and Jeff and we have such a great relationship. When I returned to pick up Baby J, the caseworker told me he did well for the first part of the visit. Then, when he realized I wasn’t there anymore, he became unconsolable and cried and cried. When I saw him, he was crying and waving his arms and kicking his legs. Let’s just say it was a long hallway before I could scoop him up into my arms and comfort him! After that, he wouldn’t let me put him down all day without crying. He had to be held to go to sleep at night. It literally effected his whole day…and my day…I can’t bear to see my children hurting.
So back to my drive to court….. My mind racked through all my feelings. Back and forth, back and forth. Jeff and I have wondered if we could ever foster parent again if we lost Baby J. Then I thought of how unfair that is to other children. It is like making other children pay for something that didn’t go my way. Then I reflected on our true trust and true surrender to God. I prayerfully expressed that nothing would take away my devotion from God. “I will always belong to you, God.”
In those raw moments, there is nothing to live on but our relationship with God. Knowing we are not in control means we HAVE to depend on God.
When I got to court, it wasn’t bad news. There has to be further research done before any possibilities would pop up for Baby J. In the meantime, we continue to trust God, love on all of our children and believe that God knows best.
There is nothing more to do than TRUST. And trust God, we do…even when it is hard.