It Is Hard to Say Good-Bye

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author:  Laura

In foster care Good Bye’s are confusing. The children have already said Good bye to everything that they know – parents, siblings, home, schools, pets…the list goes on and on. Even if the life was full of abuse or neglect – it was their life and it was their normal.It is hard to say good bye. 

In foster care there are visits with birth parents and siblings. Often parents say things like, “Oh, one of these days we will be together forever and you will have (insert highly desired object). It will be perfect.” And children believe it and live with that hope in their hearts…and more often then not, it just doesn’t happen. So one day, the “good bye” is a permanent parting. It is hard to say good bye.

My heart breaks for all the good byes Sweet Girl has already had to make in her two years. I don’t want to be another one. Yet, I know this is what is for the best. She will grow up and never even remember us.
Isn’t that crazy? 
At this point she has lived with us for about a quarter of her short life but as she grows older that time will just be a sliver instead of large slice. 
The good news is this: the reasons that brought her into care will also become a sliver. Although the effects will not doubt leave permanent consequences, she has a chance to be loved and part of family. 
Even still, It is hard to say good bye.
So how does this leave everything? Are we done fostering because this part really stinks? Are we going to quit because it is hard to say good bye?

NOPE!

This is what we are going to do: take a break,  love on Nan & Josie, sleep a little better, and appreciate the ease of living toddler-free for a few more weeks. (Josie is dangerously close to walking and becoming a toddler herself!) Finally, we are going to spend a little more time as a couple. 
We are saying Good Bye to Sweet Girl and it is probably permanent. That is how it is with foster care. We can accept that because we can’t change that. God is taking care of her and we have done all that He has asked of us. It is hard to leave it at that but we must.  

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7)

I know that some of you read this blog because you have consider foster parenting. 
You know what?  
Of all of our friends and all the people we have come in contact with in the past  6 years of fostering only 1 person has ever taken the classes and become a foster parent. 
ONE(And there are almost 600,000 children in foster care in the United States alone!) 

I totally believe with all my heart that there is another couple out there who is supposed to be doing this too. (I don’t believe that all of you should! God has given each of us specific tasks to accomplish in this life – fostering might not be yours. If that is the case – DON’T DO IT!)

If you are that couple – start praying. Maybe just one of you is feeling like fostering is your calling. Don’t push the other person but share your feelings, do some research, and start praying about it. If you want to set up a time to chat – then let’s do that. If you want for Michael and I to pray for you – or even better  pray with you – then just ask. We would be honored. 

Hey, do you feel like I am talking to you?
I am!
(So do something about it.)

Laura lives in rural Illinois with her husband of 11 years, Michael. They have two beautiful daughters, Nancy (who will eagerly tell you that she is almost 8) and Josephine (who is an active and chatty 15 months old). Laura and Michael have been licensed foster parents for the past 6 years and have been blessed to temporarily parent children ages 2-19 years old. Visit Where Love Starts to follow their family’s journey through foster parenting.

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