Friday, June 14, 2013

Foster Care--part 1

The last you heard, Luke and I were going through our Foster Care classes and in the process of getting everything ready to become licensed.  Well, I can gratefully say that we are now licensed AND we are foster parents now, too!  

We were officially licensed April 26.  We waited (im)patiently to get a phone call for our first placements.  We slept with our cell phones in bed with us and the sound on high.  We constantly kept checking our phones "just in case" we missed a call.  Heck, we took our phones everywhere, bathroom included.  We just didn't want to miss a phone call.

Finally, after exactly a week, we got a call for a placement for a one year old girl (it was her birthday!) and a two year old boy.  We took them.  In fact, we agreed to take them so quickly that it took a few minutes after hanging up with caseworker before we realized what we had just done.  Needless to say, we were thrilled.    We met the caseworker at the agency and picked up the children.  Instantly, my heart melted.  I held the baby so close and my heart jumped for joy because finally my arms weren't empty, but at the same time it was broken because they had a mom and dad somewhere out there that was missing out on their baby's first birthday. 

We loved the children instantly.  It was the most amazing feeling Luke and I have been able to experience.  The look in Luke's eyes as he rocked the baby girl to sleep just absolutely made me fall in love with him all over again.  We ended up having the first FST/Court after 6 days of having them.  When I got to the FST, I didn't know what to think. I was alone. Scared. Terrified, in fact. I had never done anything like that before, and there I was...just sitting there trying not to cry in front of all the strangers in the waiting room.  By the end of the FST, I was told that the children would be going to a family member's house.  A few hours passed and my phone rang.  I was sitting at home, crying in my husbands recliner.  I picked up the phone and answered it.  It was the caseworker.  She said that the judge had changed his mind, and the kids were going to be picked up the very next day and would be taken to another foster family that had previous connections with the children when they were babies.  It was at that moment my heart felt the deepest pain it has ever felt.  I had spent those six days loving those two precious babies with all my heart, and suddenly they were being taken away from me, and I didn't know if I'd ever see them again. 

I couldn't sleep.  I couldn't function.  I couldn't do anything but cry.  It amazed me at the responses I received as I was grieving the soon-to-be loss of my first foster placements.  I was told that I was not fit to be a foster parent, and that I should consider adopting instead (like I hadn't ever considered that before).  It wasn't just one person that made that statement.  I heard it multiple times from several different people.  Apparently it's not okay to grieve the loss of children because they're not my own.  I say bull crap! Those children filled a part of my heart that only God and myself knew about.  So, for anyone to say that I was wrong for loving them too much, I say back off! Who is going to love the children if I don't? If I don't give them all of my love, like they deserve, what good is there in being a foster parent? 

The next day (May 9) arrived.  The caseworker picked the kids up from our house, and Luke and I watched them drive away. I held it together as we put them in the car and said goodbye. As the caseworker pulled away from our driveway, we waved to them and yelled that we loved them.  We turned around to head into the house and Luke and I just broke into tears.  It felt like our entire world came crashing down...because it had. 

It's been over a month since the children have been gone, but I still think of them daily. I still look at their photos on my phone. I pray for them daily, and I hope with every fiber of my being that when we said goodbye to them that day that it wouldn't be the last time we see them again.

We loved deeply, and we got hurt.  That's the price we pay for being foster parents, but I'm okay with that.  No matter how much it hurts, I'd do it over and over again knowing that I was a part of the children's lives, even for a short time. 

This was taken as I was packing "Mr. Dinosaur's" bag so that he could leave our home.

Here is me and "Cuddle Bug." This was right after the last bath I gave her. Sweet moments.


  1. Hey hey, so much judgment from people! Sheesh. I would've cried a river if my first placement, Moose, had had to go back a week later. I would've cried a whole lot! And no one ever told me I wasn't fit to foster! So don't listen to them. You LOVED those kids. That makes you GREAT foster parents. As long as you can keep going, even with the heartache, you're going to continue being amazing foster parents.

  2. It is strange being a foster parent, isn't it? You are told to treat the children just as you would your own, which to me means love them with all you have. And then when you get upset at their leaving you are told you can't love them so much...... I was told being a Peace Corps Volunteer was the toughest job I'd ever love, but I think that title goes to foster parenting. I still mourn the loss of my first foster placement and the one I had in November and I know I'm going to have a hard time letting the latest placement go when that time comes. As long as you are appropriate (i.e. not being all stalker-ie or uber weird with irrational phone calls and the like) it should be ok to be upset about kids leaving your loving home. Love with all you have, it may be the first and only time those kids get to feel such genuine love! And the very best of luck to you! :)


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