I'm sure one of these days, I will lose count of how many adventures in Foster Care we've had. It would be a blessing if I couldn't. It would mean that there were no more children in need of Foster care. What a beautiful thought.
I was a little gun shy when we first got the call. The children were the same ages as two of our children and I was a little hesitant on how smoothly it would go. But, after hearing that it was just for respite, Friday through Monday, I knew we would be able to handle it.
The little ones were so sweet. We really had no difficulty with them other than minor "You Can't Do That" stuff regarding what is and isn't acceptable around a house they've never been to before. It was as if we had allowed two friends come over for an extended weekend sleep over.
Except when I kissed my kids in bed at night and prayed with them all, I knew that those two "extras" were suffering from the pain of the unknown. The pain of having been shuffled from their parents to a foster home to our home. The fear of what is going to happen in Court. The anxiety of missing their mama and daddy. My heart was breaking and aching over it all. My inadequacies in being able to help them felt insignificant against the system they have entered in.
On Saturday, we were able to attend a birthday party for dear friends of ours to celebrate their middle two children who were born 3 years apart, but nearly the same day. They graciously and lovingly said, "No Problem!" when I told them it was going to be Schwalm's plus two. While all of the kids swam, rode the giant slip n slide and participated in fun-filled party games, I had a chance to share some of the heartache I had been feeling with my friends. They listened to me, supported me and lovingly kept me (us . . .them) in their thoughts and prayers. So much so that my friend, LS, forwarded me this link . It so captures what I feel as a Foster Mom and as just regular Momma.
Our visitors had to leave yesterday morning and we've noted that the house has been seemingly absurdly quiet- a different kind of quiet these last two days as we ended our summer. The sadness at saying goodbye to two little ones who we could selfishly see potential in being able to help so much is only enhanced by the sadness of saying "goodbye" to summer and sending two of my little critters off to school (all day) tomorrow. Knowing that LS thought of me when she read this was a bolster to my confidence and gave me hope. It was a boost in my confidence that yes, we might be able to do something good . . . that the pain I feel is evidence that we are in fact loving well.
Blessings to all of you sending your little critters off to school. I will rejoice and cry with you!
If you are interested in exploring Foster Care, please feel free to contact me to talk about it. I am not sure if I have any of the answers you have, but I would love to talk to you about it.