Imagine you took a phone call where you answered & asked a couple of questions and at the end of the conversation, you were going to be caring for a little baby. You had volunteered to step in when the family of this child could not.
Imagine that what was initially going to be a six month period turned into 3 years. The little baby turned into a little boy. While he was in your care, he learned to sit, crawl, walk, run & jump, to laugh, learn, share, explore, to give kisses, to trust, tell you his secrets, give & receive love.
Imagine that unexpectedly, you had to choose between helping your family or helping his.
Imagine being willing to continue to care for him and not to help your family.
Imagine that when his family do decide to care for him, that they slam their door. Shut you out. No kindness offered for the years of service you gave to their family. No interest in supporting his important relationships. His attachment to you is inconvenient to them.
Imagine the feeling of letting him go. Still loving him. Him loving you.
Although many children have passed through my home and I have truly loved them (and still do) this experience has been the most brutal. I’ve cried a million tears, lost many, many hours of sleep, overwhelmed by sadness and the pain of feeling that these circumstances will have a lasting impact on a vulnerable little boy who deserves so much better.
I have to trust that he will be OK. It’s out of my hands now. My part in his story is over.
Foster care is not for the feint-hearted.