How DO we do this?

I got a call this week from a foster mom that had just dropped off her 13- month-old foster son for a visit. She left me a message saying how difficult it was when he cried for her as she left. Her question was “how do you continue to do this? It is so hard.”

This morning I got an email from a foster mom friend in another state. She and her family are preparing for their 1 and 2 year old foster kids to leave tomorrow after several months. Her broken heart could be felt through her words- and my heart broke along with hers as I read the email.

Another friend is preparing for a staffing tomorrow regarding her foster son that she and her family were planning to adopt. As with many DHS situations, a kink has come into the plan and she is fighting for this child’s life.

How do we do this? Well, that is a question with no easy answers! My first thought is we do it one day at a time, one child at a time, one situation at a time. I know many times I ‘borrow’ worry that never materializes! I also know that I don’t have the grace today to deal with what I need to deal with ‘tomorrow’!

I am so proud of the three women I mentioned above- for the way they unselfishly pour themselves into every child that is theirs for a time. I am blessed by their example of love and nurture and am so honored to share this sisterhood with them. How do we do this? By God’s grace and mercy and with a passion that comes from loving the least of these.

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Published in: on February 4, 2010 at 1:05 pm  Comments (6)  

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  1. I’ve had several people tell me that they would love to do foster care but they couldn’t because they loved children too much and wouldn’t be able to let them go. In reality it is the foster mom who allows herself to be hurt for the sake of a child who is the one who loves children more.

    Foster parents rock. ~Kari

  2. I too struggle with how I can go on loving children from birth to in some cases now almost 2 years old,and then giving them up. We have two foster kids now, and our 1 year old is leaving in the next 2 months. My question is, how long do I put my bio children through these ‘deaths’? I have 4 kids, ranging from 7 – 17, and boy is this tough. We are all still reeling from giving up our first placement, over a year ago now. Sometimes looking at pictures helps, but mostly we turn the pics around, it is just too painful. And yet, we continue to do this, knowing that it is most unnatural what we are doing, but that it is oh so necessary. I do struggle with the amount of pain we are placing on our paths though, is it fair for us parents to make these choices and our kids have no option but to fall in love over and over again, with guaranteed hurt at the end of the experience. The work is so necessary, but the cost is so high. Would love some more input on this.
    Suzanne

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Thanks so much for your comment! I understand exactly what you mean about the pain we go through each time one of our children leave. But, I really believe that our kids will grow up with more compassion and a heart to serve- as a result of them seeing our vulnerability and willingness to serve the Lord as we serve our precious kids. Our children were 6,3 and 2 when we began this process 16 years ago. Now we have four biological kids (22, 19, 18, 14) and a 6-yr-old adopted daughter. Our children sell-out to our foster kids just like Jeff and I do, and yet seem to be more resilient than we are! They have always had an understanding about why we do what we do. I know that God has used our ministry to shape them (and heaven knows to shape ME!) It is so hard in the midst of a child leaving to remember that the foundation we have had the opportunity to give them, will follow them wherever they go. Many times they learn to give and receive love as a result of our nurture and care- and I’m sure that is the case with your precious ones. I pray that God will give you strength as you face letting your 1-year-old go. Just know that you are not alone in your journey, my friend!

  3. Oh friend, I cried as I read that last sentence!! What were are going through right now is the hardest we have had so far in this journey, and I have really struggled. I have let my struggles be known though, and I am beginning to find some peace. I know we will all be o.k….but man, if we lose him, it is gonna hurt.

    My first reaction is that I am done. After this is all over, I just can’t do this again…I am too burned out, physically and emotionally. And then the kids, who tell me, “momma, don’t talk about him leaving, it makes me sad” also say, when I say no more after him, they all agreed, yes more. We do want to keep going. They really can be my strength sometimes!

  4. We have been fostering our little guy for the last three months and my heart breaks everyday with new things….the world is so broken….the system is to broken….

    Thank you for sharing about others who see the brokenness too. Thank you for reminding me to take one day at a time and in God’s timing.

    • Thanks for your encouraging words, Alicia! I would love to hear more about your experience- is this your first foster child? I certainly understand the heart break and all that comes with working with a broken system, but I also know that God is faithful and that you are doing an awesome thing…loving these precious ones so that they can give and receive love for the rest of their lives. :) God bless you, friend! :)


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