7wks after arriving, it was time for the boys to go. Their maternal grandmother came forward to claim them. Normally when a family member is able to take foster children the process is quick – much faster than seven weeks. For whatever reason, there was a delay in this situation.
The fear of heartbreak when children leave is something that keeps many people from fostering. At first I was like that. And there were some heartbreaks along the way. This time it wasn’t too bad. In their short time with me, Deshawn* and Tyson* made great strides. I did what I could in the time that I had. Sloane* fully committed herself to their spiritual education. At home with only Tyson on week days she made up songs for him about the imminent return of Christ. Despite her constant fighting with Deshawn she burst into tears when they drove away. Elise*, who got along wonderfully with both boys, didn’t seem to care much. Being the more sensitive of the two, I expected her to shed some tears.
Foster care really is a terrible place for children. Even the most loving situation is unnatural and confusing for kids. The driver who transported the boys weekly to their visits was crushed when I told her they would likely be leaving. “But they’re so loved here with you,” she exclaimed. I pray that’s the impression they take with them.
Just before the move, the boys’ grandmother wrote me a heartfelt note. “We are truly grateful to have such a thoughtful, attentive care giver to watch the kids. Sometimes foster care isn’t the best situation but we couldn’t have asked for a better family in the situation present.” I know not all birth families will be able to respond likewise. Foster care is wildly challenging for everyone involved – birth families, kids, foster families, social workers, judges, etc.
When the boys came, I knew they were expected to go to grandma’s. Maybe that’s why the departure didn’t devastate me. Maybe there’s an extra grace on me for this season.
In the time since they’ve left (this blog was delayed due to a broken computer), I’ve painted and rearranged my entry way. I went on a crazy spree and completed all my Christmas shopping (minus any new foster children, though I do have a variety of extra gifts for boys/girls of any age should kids arrive at the last minute).
The time with Deshawn & Tyson was hectic. My body is thankful for the end of that chapter. (Tyson, a typical baby, wanted to be carried most of the time. However his weight and size in no way mirrored a typical 16mth old. Not able to refuse him, my arms grew weary to a degree I never imagined possible.) It was a good chapter in my life as a foster mom, but I’m ok with the ending. And, having caught my breath, I’m ready for the next adventure.