Have I ever mentioned that we have a two-story foyer? It’s not actually an important fact, but it has become a major facet of life around here. There is a small balcony over the entryway that the kids love the stand at and look down. I’m happy because the stairs are in the back of the house so the kids won’t fall down during this pastime, but they’ve come up with a way to make it just as nerve-wracking for me.
They don’t just stand there: they throw things down. On unsuspecting people.
I was carrying food to the dining room from the kitchen for dinner this week when all the sudden an empty raisin box landed in the mashed potatoes. I was actually really impressed with the aim of our one year-old foster daughter’s aim to be able to hit a moving target like that. Even more so, she was impressed by herself as evidenced by her maniacal laughter.
That seems to be my life right now: the two levels of my life are intersecting quite a bit. There’s just normal life and then there’s foster care.
This past week for us has been really focused on foster care: I’ve had home visits, discussions about extremely important court dates, and Brian and I spent all Saturday at a training event to keep up our license. It’s busy and is taking a lot of commitment.
And then on the other level, it’s just life. I find myself forgetting that my foster daughter isn’t legally mine some days. She’s been with us a year and a half now and I honestly see her no differently than I do our bio kids.
I’m constantly hearing that my foster daughter is so lucky to be with us as part of our family.
The truth is though, there is nothing about her situation that is lucky. She is not at all lucky.
I can’t go into the details of circumstances that led the little girls we have fostered to our home. These details aren’t mine to share here; putting their stories about the worst days of their lives out there isn’t protecting.
The single worst day of these kids’ lives is usually the day that they are taken from their families. It doesn’t matter what they have been through. It doesn’t matter how horrific the situation is. They are ripped out of all they know and from the people they love.
Imagine losing everything. Imagine having life change in the blink of an eye with a knock at the door. Imagine feeling completely powerless.
This is what happens every time a child is taken into care. Every single time.
It is a profound and painful loss which is why the social workers I know do everything they can to support a family and improve a situation before resorting to taking a child and causing such trauma.
I think that is why it bothers me a little bit when people tell me that my little girl is lucky. My heart aches for her which is why we foster.
I’ve decided that foster care is kind of like living with our two-story foyer. You never know quite what is going to happen next and end up in your mashed potatoes. It’s messy.
But it is also necessary.
That is why I don’t think I am a hero or a saint or a whatever you want to call me for being a foster parent. I’m just loving my girl.
It is just like how I love my bio kids. As parents, we’d go to the ends of the earth for our kids and so if court dates, home visits, and training events are part of the package… It becomes normal, living under this microscope.
I’m just blessed to be in a relationship with them. Life around here with the three boys and little girl is hilarious! You can read this and this and this and I’m sure you’ll agree because it is the kind of stuff you just can’t make up.
I also can’t make up how blessed I’ve been to be a foster parent. Serving is like that in all regards. It is good for us to put others ahead of ourselves just as Christ did. He of all people could have demanded to be served and loved and yet He first loved us and served us. In a lot of ways, fostering is just loving like Christ did… In doing this, I’m starting to understand Him better.
That is why my foster daughter isn’t the lucky one in all of this. We are the lucky ones to have her in our family.
We’ve just learned to watch out for falling raisin boxes… and Easter eggs, cars, Nerf gun darts, Legos, animal crackers, baby dolls, stickers, and sippy cups (this week’s list only!). Just try not to step on the Legos- those really hurt…