Wednesday, July 20, 2011
"I Couldn't Do It..."
As foster parents we often hear people tell us we have big hearts, we are special, or they say "I wouldn't be able to let them leave". People are always saying that it would break their hearts to have the kids leave after they have gotten attached. It does break our hearts. We miss all of our kids and talk about all the ones we have had in the last 7 months often. Each child brought something different to our home. I don't know that we have any bigger hearts than other people or that we are any more special than someone else. We are doing what God has called us to do by taking care of orphans. As Jonathan and I were talking the other day about this very topic the answer to people's statements of "I couldn't let them leave, it would break my heart" came to me. Next time I think I will say "It does break our heart each and every time the children leave our home because we love them. However, all of the sadness of them leaving is made up for by all of the joy they bring us while they are here and watching them change in front of our eyes." We have had 4 different placements so far. All 4 have been for different reasons. Parents in prison to drugs to domestic abuse to neglect. Neglect is actually a huge part of all of those. Children raised in homes of abuse often times suffer the type of abuse and also neglect. It is so rewarding to watch a child go from being scared of being left or being scared of sleeping because of things that have happened in their sleep to climbing into their own beds at night singing Jesus Loves Me. Watching a child who only said 2 words when they got to our home to saying more than 50 in less than 3 months because we talk to them, encourage them and love on them. All of these things make up for the sadness and are the reason that when A and D leave we will welcome more kids into our home. I think that the foster parents that don't get sad when their kids leave shouldn't be foster parents anymore. These children need people to love them unconditionally and wholeheartedly regardless of the pain that we as foster parents know it's going to bring us. That's what we vow to give our foster kids, wholehearted, unconditional love. Foster care isn't about giving children a temporary place to live. It's about giving them a home where they feel safe, loved, cherished, secure, and a sense of belonging to a family. I love being a foster mom, even in the hard times, and for now we will continue to open our doors and our hearts to little kids who need us.