Friday, August 26, 2016

Another Bittersweet Goodbye

About two years ago we first said goodbye to our first foster placement, a delightful baby boy, J. Thanks to the mercy of time passing, our thoughts have turned from grief to hopefulness. We have no actual knowledge of how he is doing but that’s how it works.

Since then we’ve had many more kiddos come through our home. We do our best each time to give them love in whatever form they need – attention, kindness, patience, nutrition, dental, medical, etc. – and we are genuinely happy to see them reunited with their families.

About a year and a half of the last two years has passed with a pair of toddlers, a boy and girl, A and I. No matter how you measure it this is a long time: birthdays, seasons, holidays. Half their lives. It’s not supposed to, but that's often how it works.

Today we say goodbye.

This goodbye bears no resemblance to the first one I shared. It’s more like all the ones since: mostly sweet, mostly happy, a little sad, and planned. We had no idea what was happening with J two years ago when he was suddenly taken from our home to live with a relative. In the void of knowing what to expect we got too close. In the years since we’ve prepared ourselves for the reality that most of the time these kiddos go home and it doesn’t have to make sense. This personal growth has come through hard-earned experience, and through the council of many wonderful friends who exhibit a love for foster children we admire.

We say goodbye to A and I for what we hope is the last time. I hope their family provides them the home that every child deserves. I hope we don’t see them again because to see them again will mean that trauma has cruelly visited them again.

And while we’ve learned to weather the acute pain of the goodbye, this placement is hard for us in a new way: the pain has been chronic. This has been a long placement. It warms my heart to see how far they’ve come in our care, but the investment in their lives has been taxing for us and our bio kids. It’s been so difficult! And so rewarding! Life is messy; that’s how it works.

Goodbye, A and I.

We’re taking some time off.

(And SO many thanks to the many amazing families that have helped us these past two years with love, support, respite and food. We couldn’t do any of this without you. Thank you.)