As I sit here this morning and write out this blog my house has almost an erie emptiness about it. Buck it at work, our floors are nothing but concrete as we await the installation of our new floors today and the kids are back home with their mom and step dad. It's taken me a while to have the courage to sit down and write about their last days with us. The memories are sweet but we do miss them terribly.
Today marks one week since our precious children returned home. We both knew it was going to happen and we both knew that we were extremely happy for their mom and the work she has done and is still doing. The last week was full of friends and family surrounding us and the little ones. People stopped by (or spent the night) to love on them, to play with them, to remind them just how special they are and how God created them for BIG things. To be honest at first I wasn't happy about this. I was trying to be considerate of the feelings of others but all I wanted to do was soak up these kids all I could for myself and Buck. I wanted "family time" and I wanted to hold them and love them.
After a few days of many people coming in and out of our home I realized, we are having family time. Everyone who stopped by was loving on them just as we would have and truly loved them. They all were feeling some level of grief and happiness. It was truly the most beautiful picture of people understanding what it means to "rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn." For the first time I also understood just how many rallied around us and helped us through our journey with these kids, including our agency, Buckner. And also, how a decision that we made two years ago to start the process to become foster parents affected those around us. I was overwhelmed to say the least.
By the time Friday rolled around I was feeling ok about our little ones returning home. There was a peace that only God can provide that I knew their mom loved them. she was grateful for us, for a second chance and for the love she felt from God and us. It's a beautiful picture of God's mercy and redemptive power. A family was being reunited YAY!!!!!!!
The CPS worker arrived early on Friday (which never happens) and within 20 minutes she was driving our last nine months away. It was strange and cold feeling. She showed up, we packed the car and they left. I am not sure what I was expecting but it was all so strange to me. So fast, so empty. Buck and I decided to go get lunch. We walk in the door and the hostess says to me (and very politely) "so is there just two of you?" It was like someone had punched me in the heart and gut all at the same time. I immediately began to cry. I felt as though I had lost part of who I was, part of my purpose and I felt lost. I didn't know what to do.
The next week has been a blurr. There have been good days and bad, good moments and bad. However, there are a few things I can say with confidnece -we have great friends and a community who has supported us (and are ready to do it again), we trust God and know that this family is a beautiful picture of redemption and we will do it again!!! I had a friend tell me just few days again that we are tailored made to do this. I told him thank you and it was just confirmation to me that when God calls you to do something you have to do it! I never found more purpose in anything I have done before. Thank you to all those who supported us. (And to those of you who feel you are awkward in sad situations, I tell you just don't talk. The worst part of this was listening to people try to fumble around and say dumb things or give you a pathetic look-just don't).
So where do we go from here? Luckily the kids' mom wants to keep in contact with us and she wants all of her children to still have us and one of the other foster moms in their lives. We are slowly figuring out how that looks. But yay for that. Also the number one question we get is will we do it again. And YES!!! I know not all causes will have a beautiful ending but I do know that we can't stop. There are so many families and children who need redemption, who need a little bit of love, or who need a complete start over. And as long as we can provide for children we are in this business for a lifetime. So to all of you who supported us in our first placement, hang on to your hats, we going in again and will need you each time.
As with all things in CPS you just never know when your next placement will be so we are in a waiting game; it could be in a week, two weeks or a few months. But we look forward to the next family that will be represented in our house.
PS if you would like more info about fostering please check out our agency. www.beafamly.org