We are in the strangest place as a family that we’ve ever been. I can’t completely wrap my hands and heart around it. It is awful but not at the worst place that it will be yet. We will be very soon saying goodbye to our foster daughter who we have had since January. She is wonderful, sweet, beautiful, goofy, adorable, innocent and all around stuck dead center in our hearts. This past year has been incredible watching our family all grow and she’s been a big part of it. She’s had this amazing first year of life that has seen her grow so much. She knows what family is. She knows what unconditional love is. She knows what it means to have someone come to you when you are crying to fix your every need. She knows what it is to just laugh and laugh and laugh. She loves everyone she meets. This first year with us has been the groundwork for the rest of her life.
She’ll be leaving our house to go to some of her extended family. They are a loving, big family, who are dying to have her in their home. We are so excited for them. It’s like we know what’s coming for them in a way that just can’t know until they have her. It’s like someone telling you about how awesome Disney World is but until you actually go to Disney World you can’t really grasp it.
The reality of all of this is that she’s imbedded in our hearts deeply and when you removed something from the middle there’s a huge hole. Where we are now is preparing for that removal. I’m not an expert on any of this but I do know that there’s no way conceivable way to prepare for that kind of heartbreak. It’s like we’re waiting around to be wounded so that we can start to heal. I love a good analogy and I’ve really stretched for a way to wrap this moment up into one.
One thing I’ve thought about is how this is like being a fighter. Fighters walk into a fight knowing that they are going to take some damage, but it’s worth the fight when you come out on the other side. We would never change this past year for any reason. The life we’ve been able to give her this year has forever changed her life, so the fight was worth it but the damage is going to take a while to fix and heal.
Would or could we ever foster again? Only God knows that answer. God has taken this time to show himself to us in ways we’ve never known. There’s no conceivable way that I could ever deny that God is real and that He loves us. It would really take me a while to stop laughing if anyone said that he wasn’t real. I know that God allows his children to walk through valleys that they cannot traverse so that we definitely know he’s there and is the one who controls everything. God’s peace is real through this all.
We’re a mess and the mess has just begun. We feel the prayers of our church, our family, and our friends.