The last words I heard from her before she left were, “I love you Momma! MUAH!”
The last words I heard about myself as a Foster Parent were, “I am just really upset at the terrible care she was getting at that foster home.”
And that’s Foster Care. The dichotomy can tear you in two if you aren’t on steady ground. It began with such big hopes to provide a need in my community. To provide children a safe place to land. To let parents know that their kids were being cared for safely while they all worked their kids back home.
It ended with me on the couch while my body quickly shut down and nodded off to sleep. Covered in my own children, seven years came seeping out. I could have done better. I could do more. I didn’t do enough. I am not good enough. These thoughts ooze out of my sticky guilt that keeps haunting me. As the label is deleted from the roster of my identity, and we close a chapter of our lives, one spark remains… One blinking cursor on that tab of my life flickers in and out…
Once a foster parent, always a foster parent. Even though though the license expires or is closed, our hearts always remain open to the children who have graced our home. A little piece of them has been left with me that I hold dear to my heart. Whether I am mothering them or not, I still think of them, pray for them, wish the best for them and their parents, and from afar I hold a little light that they left flickering in the deepest corners of my heart.
It was Foster Care that led me out of the adoptee fog.
It was Foster Care that handed me more compassion and empathy for the entire triad.
It was Foster Care that ignited my passion for Trauma-Informed Care. It was Foster Care that pushed me into social work.
It was Foster Care that made me a mom for the last time. It was Foster Care that led me to so many of you.
It was Foster Care that changed the trajectory of my family’s life forever. Seasons are changing here.
We are closing the doors on expanding our family.
The season of snuggling in, hunkering down and enjoying my family just as it is has come.
Our family’s time as a foster family is over.
But Foster Care was just a catalyst.