Since becoming a foster mom there is one statement people make to me which I want to take a quick moment to address. It is usually said in a cheery off-hand sort of way and goes something like this, “Oh, you do foster care? I could never do that. I’d never be able to let the babies go; it would be too hard!”
I’ve been tempted to respond with a sarcastic, “Well gee, it’s easy for me because I’m really a very cold hearted person.” What I usually say instead is something more along the lines of, “I can’t imagine what it would be like to give up a child, but I know that if God calls me to it, He’ll also give me the strength to get through it.”
My sister Jenny, also a foster mom, meets the statement with, “I know it would be really hard, but sometimes we need to put our feelings aside and do what’s best for the children.”
As we face our first foster baby leaving this week, I have learned a new meaning for the word grief. But, I also had the privilege of caring for her these five months and am honored and blessed to carry her in my heart and prayers for the rest of my life. And I’m trusting God to get me through it.
I wake up this morning with a stomach bug so bad I can’t even straighten, after spending most of the night awake, in tears, and, I’m loathe to admit it, utterly despairing. This is coming on the tail of a nasty virus I’ve had for days, my boys being away at camp, and my mom far away when I so desperately need her. Despite all my calls to lawyers and caseworkers they plan to come and take away our little Meggie on Wednesday, and not to a better future, but to put her in a different foster home in a different state, to be a victim of the system. Such a beautiful happy baby, who smiles in her sleep every time I go in to check on her, almost as if she senses me standing there, who belly laughs when her sisters play peek-a-boo with her, and who is thriving and well adjusted. And I cry out to God, “How much do you think I can take? Are you even paying attention here!?” And I wonder, “Is this how Job felt?” And I ask, “God, where are you in all of this?”
Then, I pick up baby Jenn and she gurgles with joy. I help her with her physical therapy, and she’s able to reach her toes -a breakthrough for her- and my broken heart catches a glimpse God. My toddler, with her frizzy blond …