What foster care parenting is REALLY like
It’s been a few days…almost a week in fact, so maybe I should share all of the crazy emotions that have been flooding my world since…well what seems like forever.
I meant to write this blog last week..then the beginning of this week. Then I couldn’t do it. But I’m ready. I’m ready to share with you the huge roller coaster that we lived the last 4 months.
We got the call right before we left for Mexico. It was very vague…age/names of the 2 children who would change my life forever.
“Are you interested in fostering long term these 2 kids that….”
You see, ever since my mom told me her story of being a foster kiddo who was split from her siblings…ever since my husband shared his story of being split from his siblings. I wanted to be a foster mother who fostered and ADOPTED a sibling group.
When they called me, I thought, “how is this possible??? A 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl?!” Could I have even thought of a better situation for my family?” Probably not.
When I dreamed of being a foster mother who loved on, cuddled on, and took care of these kids…I don’t think I realized how sad they would be at first. I thought that since they were young, they would want to play, have fun, goof around….I didn’t realize the heartbreak that would come with the territory.
When we first got B and G, they cried so much–till 5 am…with no sleep. The temper tantrums were out of control, and there were so many moments that I wondered if we had made the right decision. Were we really cut out for this? Could I handle this as a mom? Did I really want to be a stay at home mom? Had we made the right decision for Dahlia? As much as G hated Dahlia at first was how much B loved her. And Dahlia loved having the company. Even when they were both crying…she just had the face of, “ummm guys…we are having fun…why are you crying?” :D
But time passed. G through less tantrums, and slowly began to communicate. I remember when she started mimicking people’s words. We were camping with my parents, and I had such hope that she would be able to flourish. Not just catch up…but grow those wings and fly. I remember the one and only time she pulled my face to her and she kissed my cheek.
I remember when B started calling me mom. I know it was because all of the other kids at the library story time were calling their “grown ups” by mom…but it meant the world to me…and slightly scared me at the same time.
I loved going on walks with the kids. It was probably my favorite thing ever. Just being able to get out of the house…we would practice our ABC’s by looking at the letters on signs. I would teach them all of the silly songs that my mom taught me. B hated music when we first got him, and G was very unresponsive…but by the end they LOVED music. They loved to dance.
Every day was hard. Some harder than others. Some almost unbearable. Some were days when Tony would come home and just take over, knowing that I had hit my peak. I needed a break. I would go outside and swing on the front porch…when B would poke out his head and say something sweet and funny, and it was gone. I wasn’t tired anymore. I wasn’t going to give up. I was going to give it my all. I was going to love the crap out of them.
Now it has been 5 days since they left. I have kept myself super busy so I can’t realize how sad and quiet my house is. I haven’t allowed myself to focus on it. I have poured myself into everything else. But it is real. My kids are gone. My house is quiet. I am no longer a momma to the 2 crazy kiddos that I was to last week.
Yes. I am crying as I write this…but I want to you read the next part very carefully.
It. Was. Worth. It.
I wouldn’t take it back. I wouldn’t take back an extra night of sleep. I wouldn’t take back all the laughs. I wouldn’t take back one story time. I wouldn’t take back chasing after G. I wouldn’t take back one zoo visit, or one walk. I wouldn’t take back the time I worked with B on cutting, painting, coloring, practicing his school work. I wouldn’t take back the times we ran in the yard, or the times when we played in the kitchenette we made.
It is worth the heart ache. I loved my crazy life…and I would give anything to have it back..but even if it doesn’t happen. Even if I am not to be the “forever” mother of my little blondies….it is worth is. GOd reminded me this week that they aren’t my kids anyway. They are his. He protected them before and he will protect them after. So if you wonder if you can do it.
Foster parenting isn’t for the faint of heart. Yes. Your heart will be broken. Yes. It is hard to “give them back.”
But. It. Is. Worth. It