- licensing for foster care took much longer than we'd planned
- a precious newborn, "J", was placed with us in November
- Michael and I got super duper attached
- after 1 day's notice, "J" left on Friday to live with a family member
- we are feeling broken, incomplete
Now here's where I can write my heart, without all the boring-to-everyone-but-me details :)
"J" is gone, and we may never see him again, and the weight of that is heavy on me right now. My heart is broken. I try to tell myself that if I wasn't sad, I didn't love "J" in the way I should. Foster care is not supposed to be easy, most of the kids go home, we are a temporary stop in their journey, we are blessed that we could be a part of his life for a short time, our home is now available for other children that need us, and on and on and on. I truly, truly believe all that. But right now? Right now my heart is broken because I loved and I lost. Right now I worry that "J" is not being taken care of in the way that *I* would take care of him. Right now I look at our empty bouncy seat and the lone sock I can't bear to pick up from our closet floor and the bottles that I haven't put away and the car that doesn't have the right number of children packed into it. I don't feel the weight of his warm body against my chest as he sleeps, and I can't kiss his soft curly hair. I know that I will not be woken up by a baby tonight because there is no baby here. I have a voicemail on my phone reminding me of an appointment that I will not be taking him to. He is everywhere and he is nowhere.
And so it goes.
We will heal, and we will grow from this process. I don't understand God's plan. I don't understand the brokenness that allowed "J" to come into foster care to begin with. I don't understand why he was allowed to be with us for 9 weeks and then moved suddenly out of our lives. But (isn't there always a but?). But. I *do* understand that God is faithful. He is using us, and he is using "J". On the night "J" left, Michael and I received the sweetest email from my mother-in-law, and it reminded me of God's work in and through us. We see over and over the impact "J" has had on our friends and family. This loss for us has shown us in a mighty way that we have an amazing network of support ~ we have received meals, phone calls, messages, Bible verses, and many, many prayers.
The pain has been surprising in its depth, and yet I find myself yearning to do this again. I still truly believe that God is calling our family to serve Him in this way, and while that does not make this part of the process easier, it has helped me to focus on the bigger picture of our lives, rather than only on this chapter. We may not know what is ahead, but looking back only proves to me that God's plan for us is more perfect than we could have ever imagined.
from "Through It All" by Andrae Crouch
I've had many tears and sorrows,
I've had questions for tomorrow,
there's been times I didn't know right from wrong.
But in every situation,
God gave me blessed consulation,
that my trials come to only make me strong.
I've been to lots of places,
I've seen a lot of faces,
there's been times I felt so all alone.
But in my lonely hours,
yes, those precious lonely hours,
Jesus lets me know that I was His own
I thank God for the mountains,
and I thank Him for the valleys,
I thank Him for the storms He brought me through.
For if I'd never had a problem,
I wouldn't know God could solve them,
I'd never know what faith in God could do