I had just received my first call from DCS (Department of Child Safety) that they were bringing over two young girls for us to foster. Other than their age and gender, that’s basically all the information I received other than “and they seem to be healthy and have no behavior issues”. As I was nervously cleaning up I found myself confused by emotion. I was filled with excitement to meet them, but sorrow for what they had gone through. While on one hand I was excited, on the other hand, my stomach hurt thinking that this could be the hardest day of their lives. I was also so afraid that I couldn’t love another child as my own, but as I waited I could feel my heart growing. I felt so much pain for the little girls and I felt pain for THEIR mom; without even knowing them. No matter what caused them to be taken away from her care, I could not imagine the agony she was experiencing in not knowing where they were. Just as my eyes started to tear, I looked out the window and I saw the two beautiful children hauling their bags over their shoulders. They were smiling. I wondered why. What did that stranger (to them) tell them as he was driving them away? I wanted to run up and hug them and tell them it would be fine, but I had been trained. I had been trained to take it easy, welcome them in the home but not overwhelm them. I had been trained to tell them that they would be safe here, that we have food and clothes and to casually scan their little bodies for any marks. I had been trained on how to act and think and who to call, but really no one had told me how much emotion I would feel.
As they walked in and began to talk to me, all the love (I feared would cease to exist) overwhelmed my soul. They were so sweet and beautiful and I instantly wanted to know why they were in this situation, but it was NOT my job. It wasn’t my job to investigate or to figure that out. It was NOT my job to be mad for them, or to avenge them. My job was to love them, nurture them and to provide them with shelter, food, safety and education. So I took them by the hand and I showed them their room. In my head, I thought how silly that sounds “their” room. I began to regret what I had said but then they both jumped on “their” beds and giggled. To me, it seemed like they had accepted their situation so easily and it broke my heart. My husband and I then decided to take them to get some bedding of their own. They got their things together and were willing to come with us, without any hesitation. We both grabbed their little, innocent hands and lead them to the car. At that moment, I had a realization. As much as I cannot control my own future, I won’t be able to control their’s either. I would take this…one breath, one moment, one day at a time. Hand in hand we decided we would hold them up when they fell. We would wipe their tears and dance together, when all they wanted to do was cry. We would come together as a family and live life the best we could. It would be hard, but it would be worth it. All I could do was pray that God would guide me and help me be the best I could be in the girls’ lives.
Ashley Dicker, BHT
New Foster Mom
Photo credit: Jasmine Amber Photography