Last night, we got some unexpected news. We found out that our sweet pea would be leaving us. All week long we were told the opposite – to plan for a longer stay. I had spent lots of time researching day cares, calling people, and finally visiting a daycare center we had settled on. She was going to start on Monday and she was SO excited! I told multiple people we thought we would have her longer than we had little love (which was around six weeks).
Last night was also my birthday celebration, since my husband was working tonight. He was amazing and made a delicious dinner and dessert (homemade peanut butter banana ice cream!) and sweet pea had painted me a precious canvas that says “You are Loved.” It was the sweetest. Unfortunately the news of sweet pea leaving and then the realization that I need to buy a new phone and new washing machine this week was a bit of a bummer on the special night. I was sad, confused, angry.. some many negative emotions. I’m disappointed in myself for how I handled it, but I’m going to give myself some grace and be okay with being a human.
This morning, I had a much more positive outlook on it all. The people in my life made the day incredible. I only worked a half day – because I had a meeting with an attorney for sweet pea, but while I was there my teammates and my students made sure I was loved. My favorite card was handmade by a student and said, “I’ve seen you for sixteen days, but your meaning to me I can’t explain!” followed by a cute note. I died. When I got home the house was decked out with decorations courtesy of our awesome babysitter and sweet pea (who has been celebrating my birthday for about three days now). I had the entire afternoon to laugh and play with sweet pea. We eventually packed her up (we got a call saying it was official), had dinner, bath time, and I just tucked her in for the last time. She is sad to leave us – she keeps asking if she can take Daisy or if our families can just all live together. There were a few tears but she is mostly excited, which does help my heart out a little.
After sweet pea leaves.. we are taking a break. In training they told us that a lot of foster parents take a month of in between placements. I told my husband immediately that I didn’t think we would do that. I was wrong. Sweet pea was hard on my heart. I adore her and would keep her in our home forever if that’s what she needed.. but it was tough. I feel like I’ve been pouring out everything I’ve got for the last 17 days with her.. and not really taking the time to build myself back up. I’ve been in a good place overall but it was definitely taking a lot to stay in that place. I want to say I was strong the entire time and didn’t let the things she said get to me because I understood where it came from (I would think – she’s four! I shouldn’t be upset about this!).. but some days it was really hard to hear what she had to say about me. I know it wasn’t personal. I know it stemmed from trauma and loss and so much more. I know I shouldn’t have been upset.. but again, I am human.We made a lot of progress.. and we are sad to say goodbye. Especially because we’ve been on a high..and know that it would most likely only go up from here. But! It’s foster care. This is what we signed up for, this is what we are called to. Now I can only hope and pray that we made some sort of difference in her life. I hope she knows how loved she is. Anyway, I never thought we would take a break because I was scared a break would mean we’re done. Well.. I think I need to give us some more credit than that. We are NOT done. We are just going to take some time to heal and rest and refresh. We have some house things we need to take care of: I want to do another deep clean of everything, we need to buy some appliances, we need to sort all of the toys and clothes we’ve been accumulating. And don’t even get me started on our lawn. I don’t think we’ve touched it since BEFORE little love – other than the occasional mowing. It’s bad. So we are going to catch up on life for the next few weeks.
It’ll be three weeks that we take off. The third week in October we are doing respite for friends of ours. Respite is basically for foster parents that need a break and/or are going out of town and need someone to watch their foster children. Our friends are going on a mission trip to Ethiopia – how cool is that?! Part of my heart is there! So we will be watching their precious ten month old foster son and I cannot wait to have my first taste of what being a boy mom is like. We will watch him for a week, and then go back on the list to get our next foster placement! I think the timing is good. I have a couple of trips happening that we can get past before taking in another placement, and my husband’s work is about to hire so they will get into a new routine and schedule so his hours will be better. This time is going to be good for us and hopefully help get us ready for whatever comes next.
I can’t end the post without saying that I am amazed with the timing of sweet peas departure. Little love left on the first day of school – a day full of love and excitement. Now sweet pea is leaving right after my birthday – another day full of love and excitement. Guys, God is taking care of my heart. I don’t know why that shocks me, but I think it’s pretty cool.
I think that’s all for now!