As some of you know, this week was a big week for the girls, and we found out that we will be keeping them for a while longer. I cannot go into very much detail, but here’s what I want to express: the different emotions that you go through as a foster parent can’t really be described. There are so many sides to these stories, so many moving parts, that you eventually just end up feeling crazed because of all the feelings and thoughts you’ve been having. And that’s where I was all this week.
Angry at the system. Sad to potentially say goodbye. Happy for the family if they get them back. Worried if we didn’t feel peace about it. Stressed to figure out daycare if they stay. Heartbroken for mom if she’s told she’s not ready. Guilty for experiencing so many firsts with these girls. Afraid to get more attached. Afraid to not get more attached. Thankful for the time we’ve had. Proud for what we’ve done as a couple. Grateful for how God has moved in our lives. Frustrated with the lack of details we know. Selfish because I felt I knew what was best. Loved by my friends and family. Misunderstood by my friends and family. And so many more. Hence ending up feeling like a crazy person.
The biggest feeling that is not sitting well with me is being misunderstood. Don’t get me wrong, I know how it happens.. people only see/know a glimpse of the system, a glimpse of our hearts here on this blog and social media. But I want to try to be as clear as possible: we are not rooting against the birth family.
I posted a status about being heartbroken regardless of what happened this week. This is what I meant: I would be heartbroken to say goodbye to the girls. I would be heartbroken for mom if she did not get her girls back. Either way, it would hurt. That’s how it always is in foster care. However, this what we want: We want families to be brought back together when they are ready, and with a feeling of peace around the entire situation.
When they are ready, and with a feeling of peace. Those are the biggest things for me. And those two things are why I was so nervous this week. I felt this horrible pit in my stomach when I realized I didn’t know what I was hoping for: did I want them to stay? Did I want them to leave? I wasn’t feeling peace about them going home quite yet and I wasn’t feeling peace about us having them long term. There was no peace for me, for lots of reasons.
However, God did step in. What ended up happening was something I was not even considering – and it left me with the peace I longed for and something even better – hope. We are rejoicing in this hope and peace, and I want people rejoice in it with us. But please realize that our rejoicing is not in that we get to keep them, because someone is probably hurting over that in this moment. Our rejoicing is in steps in the right direction, healing for families, and hope for the future. It’s hard to understand when you don’t know all the details – and I get that. But will you rejoice with us?
And here’s my foster care disclaimer: things will change. Without a doubt. Maybe what I’m hoping for won’t happen. Maybe what happens in the long run won’t bring me peace. Maybe I’ll go through this crazy week of emotions again and again. If that’s what happens, it’ll still be okay. But right now, today.. I am thankful for this feeling of peace.
*Also something I wanted to note (and will be blogging about at some point because I’ve been asked so many questions about it this past week): The goal in foster care typically starts with reunification. HOWEVER, and it’s a huge however, there are MANY times where reunification cannot happen (or -quite frankly- shouldn’t happen) and adoption IS necessary. There NEED to be foster parents willing to adopt. And it is not wrong to become foster parents because you want to adopt – in fact, it’s quite common. Just because that is not our goal right now, does not mean we are closed to the idea of it. So please, don’t say no to foster care because you’re hoping to adopt. Will it be hard? Of course. But it’s all about where your heart is. I look to my friend that’s a foster mom hoping to adopt right now in awe – shes not cheering for herself or for the family – she’s cheering for the child. Whatever is best for the child. THAT is all that matters. I’m sorry if I’ve said things to have people question this topic. My husband and I – our hearts right now are very much for reunification, so I think that’s blinded me to the other options in our future. Hope this makes sense. Thank you all for questioning and pushing me to become a better person!