the move & our grief.

The latest news with us is that we are moving. This summer, hopefully by July 1st, my husband and I will be moving to North Carolina. It is CRAZY, but it is good. We are excited and eager to get started on this latest adventure. The answers to the most asked questions summarized in a few sentences: I will still be teaching (hopefully year round), my husband will still be working in the restaurant industry, and we will start classes for foster care as soon as we find a place to live. We do not have family there, but we have friends that are like family. We plan to have our house for sale within a few months, and we are leaving it up to God to sell it in His time. We are hoping to find a place to live 30-45 minutes outside of Raleigh. There are so many why’s to this move, but the biggest one is why not? This was something we planned on doing when we got married three years ago.. so we see it as something that was a long time coming. It’s something that will be very bittersweet, as most of you know that I have a job that I really love here.

The twins were our last foster children in Maryland. That was a difficult decision, but one that makes sense because we can’t say yes to children and then kick the out when it’s time for us to move. There is no way to know for certain how long placements are, so we don’t want to say yes to children that we cannot commit to. We talked about providing respite care for other foster parents, but we are actually planning on moving out while our house is up for sale so that would not work either. This move was decided very recently, so closing the door on this chapter of our lives here in Maryland was pretty abrupt. It’s been hard/conflicting/queasy for my to wrap my head around, but I know that we will foster again. I’ve already thrown myself into research on what it looks like in North Carolina and how to get started right away.

The twins left a little under two weeks ago. If they had been committed to the agency, we would have rethought our move. When we started fostering we said we would NEVER have a child uprooted and placed into another foster home unless it was a complete last resort. I know we should really never say never, but it was not sitting well with me that we may have had to give thirty days notice to have our precious baby girls moved. With that being said, they ended up going home. I can honestly say that this reunification was one that I was MOST at peace with, and really seemed to be what was best and what was fair for this family.

That’s where grief in foster care gets weird. We are grieving while simultaneously celebrating this momma that did what was asked of her to get her children back. We are grieving that we may never be able to see those faces again, while cheering on this family that proves the system CAN work. We had those babies eight weeks. Eight weeks was over half of their little lives. When you first get a placement, loving is a choice. You choose to automatically love that child that was dropped off at your home, but you don’t immediately feel it (at least not always). You wake up each day and decide to love them, feed them,play with them, give up all that you knew to take care of them. Only you didn’t have nine months to plan for this, you had a few hours. Those first few nights can be tough, full of doubt, full of moments where you wonder if you’re even cut out for this. But eight weeks later… the love pours out naturally. Eight weeks later and you know their cries, you make them smile when you walk into a room, you think about them constantly when you’re away. Loving is no longer a choice, it’s just there. And once you love someone.. does that really every go away? I miss those babies so much. Those two months were by far the hardest months of my life (and remember how hard sweet pea was for me?).. but they were so worth it. Watching them learn to smile, start cooing, start to recognize faces.. they were great moments. My husband and I were challenged but we learned a lot and grew as spouses and parents. It was definitely a two months I would never give back.. although at times it hurt to feel like the moments we had with the girls were stolen moments that belonged to their parents. Our prayer is that one day all of us – birth parents included – will look back on those two months with an understanding of why they were necessary and how they have shaped our lives. I know I can already see some of those answers.

Since then, we have thrown ourselves into the move. We are starting to pack up our house, I’ve been applying for my certification for teaching in another state, we’ve been having hard conversations with the people we love. We’ve also spent a lot of time resting and enjoying the free time we have together that we didn’t really get when we had the twins. It’s be really nice to reconnect as a couple and to have a little bit more flexibility and freedom with our schedules. Although, after two weeks I’m ready to take another child in 😉 I will just have to be patient on that one.. and trust that God knows what He is doing!