if someone had asked me what it would be like to lose our little miss, to give her back to her bio family, to pack up all her things and eventually return home to a house without her laugh and bouncy hair, i would have said that it wasn't possible. i would have assumed that losing her would mean the world would stop turning and we would all huddle in a dark room and cry. in the year we fostered little miss, she completely transformed our lives. and then...she went back home.
we had hoped we would get to adopt her. we had hoped we would get to keep her and her bio brother (our son) together. we had hoped...
but sometimes life doesn't work out the way we hope.
we foster because we are passionate about kids. we know every child deserves a family.
each one of our children comes from a different place and has a different story.
little miss has a bio family that has worked hard to prove they can take care of her.
so we made her a scrapbook and wrote sweet letters of encouragement and hugged her tight and cried a lot.
i tell friends i have empty arm syndrome. i miss her so much there are times i physically ache. our family prays for her and talks a lot about the sweet things we have seen her do. there are a lot of things we will never know about and we have to ask God for peace so we can keep going.
so in order to cope with the loss that we knew was a possibility but had been told would work out differently, we have been with lots of family. we have traveled. we have kept busy enough not to wallow but not so busy we totally forget we are still struggling and sad. we are doing things as a family that would be hard to do with a baby and try to make a hard situation a little better. i light candles while i cook and put flowers from our yard in jars and try to think of times when life wasn't quite this hard and our hearts didn't ache this much. i yearn for a time in our future where life might feel light and even, dare i say it, breezy. i cannot imagine a time like that coming. but i hope for it anyway because i know to everything there is a season.
sometimes i wonder if losing her has ruined me as an advocate. we always tell people to do the hard thing. will fostering at times be painful? will it be hard? will you at times want to give up? could they leave and your arms and home would be empty? should you do it anyway? yes. why? because the system being broken and grown adults in positions of authority over you acting like children might suck, but the kids deserve people who care and will fight for them. and i've decided that while i may not be the cheeriest speaker anymore, i can still stand in a room full of people and tell them to do this hard thing because kids like little miss have an opportunity to be safe and healthy in foster homes because people do what is inconvenient and hard. and these beautiful children, they are worth it.