Archives / 2013 / October
  • Let My Heart be Hardened

    One of the hardest things about foster parenting is taking a child who thinks that he is yours to a visit with a birth parent he doesn’t know at all.

    All morning I am tense.  My hands tremble slightly, and I keep forgetting what I am doing.  I don’t even attempt to eat breakfast.  The kids joke and I attempt a smile, which gets nowhere near my eyes, not having heard a word.  I snap at them over nothing, and they pat my shoulder to show me that it’s okay.  I pack a diaper bag overflowing with snacks, toys, and extra clothes.  Finally, I get the baby dressed in a cute outfit, making sure everything matches and nothing is worn out or stained.  A friend once had birth family file a complaint because the child was wearing two slightly different white socks.  The story has stayed with me.

    I arrive a few minutes early and hold the baby in the car until the last moment.  Then, kissing his fluffy baby hair, I gather his bag and hurry across the parking lot to the DHS building.  Inside he sees his parent and leans nervously into me.  I talk to him happily, soothing.  I whisper one last prayer that only he and I can hear.  The caseworker arrives, ready to take them back to the visitation …