When the most rewarding circumstances come in all sizes and walk away with pieces of your heart in their tiny little hands.
Fostering has become as much a part of my life as the very breaths I breathe while writing to you. You see, if you knew me at all, chances are, 90% of the words that come out of my mouth relate to my role as a foster mom. There are good days, amazing days, bad days, terrible days, tears, fears, and love; so much love. It’s the most challenging love I have ever faced.
However, when I’m asked what the hardest part of caring for each child is, I usually respond “the unknown.” Sometimes it feels like I’m throwing my heart into the depths of the ocean knowing that even if I get it back, it will never be whole again. Such as holding a little baby in my arms, looking at him with tears in my eyes because I’m already missing him and he’s still right here.
You see, you are asked right away if you are willing to adopt and in the same sentence you are told not to get your hopes up “just in case.” Then, there’s that call from the GAL (Guardian ad litem) saying “You ARE willing to adopt right? Because there’s no way this child will go back home.” And wouldn’t you know, just two days later you get a visit from the Case Manager and she says, “Parent is doing so well, I really think she has a fighting chance.” WOW, I finally understand what the saying “whirlwind of emotions” means.
Fostering is love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Did I mention patience? I mean it’s the kind of patience you have to dig out the depths of your soul. You have a small idea of what the outcome could be for each child, but in reality things can change in a matter of days, even minutes. All I can say is that every moment, good and bad, is worth the wait. Every child that is reunited with his/her family will give you a joy you never knew you had. This is because you develop love and understanding for each parent, no matter what they have done or been accused of. Because in each child’s eyes you see the love THEY have for their parents and you love them even more when their eyes are filled with pain.
Yes, it can be difficult but it’s worth it at any cost; the pain, the love and especially the unknown. This is my life now and I will continue to gamble my heart for these children. And if one day, I am given the chance to give a child a permanent place in our home, all of the broken pieces will make their way back to the shore and into my heart forever.