A Glimpse into a Foster Child's Life

Foster care has been a common topic in our home lately. We feel fairly confident that training is our next step, but then what? Do we even want to try foster care again? If so, when would we be ready for another placement? What age range? How many children at a time? What would we do differently? While making decisions about how foster care fits into our family, we can unintentionally lose sight of the children. 

Today, I got another glimpse into the foster child experience through the videos below. Please watch and share, then join me in praying about how to help. 

Warning: you may want to have tissues handy.

No Bohns About It

One Week Later: All Is Different, Yet Familiar

Last week at this time, I was tearfully packing the boys' belongings. That morning, we left for daycare just like every other day. None of us knew that they would never return. In a matter of hours, I would bring them and their belongings to a new home. I still cannot believe it.

One week later, the house is quieter, cleaner, and less kid-friendly. The outlet covers and child-proof locks are gone. Toys and children's books are hidden away. Louie provides the only chaos and cuteness. I can go out tonight without feeling bad leaving Hubby to do bedtime alone with the kids. He can go to work without wondering if everything is okay at home. We can go on a date without needing a babysitter or two.

Everything is different, yet also familiar. We have done this childless thing before. For nearly seven years, we have been married and childless. Parenthood lasted only twelve weeks. Twelve weeks is not very long. Three short (and long) months. A tiny blip in the grand scheme of our lives. Sometimes, it doesn't seem real. We were parents? What? Are you sure?

And yet. We were. This really happened in our living room:

This really happened in our back yard:

Brothers in the backyard

We really were this family at the park:

Foster family at the park

Those twelve weeks really happened. Although our lives may look like they used to, we will never be the same.

Faster Than They Came, They Are Gone

Yesterday, my cell phone rang while I was at work. Seeing the social worker's number, I answered. She said to get the boys and their things and drop them all off at their new home in a few hours.

"Are you sure?" I said. "Couldn't we wait until next week when my husband gets home? He didn't get to say goodbye." 

"I think it should be today," she said.

The Boys

In tears, I left my office and headed home to do what she said. My mom and I spent the next two hours frantically packing all of the boys' earthly possessions. More precisely, my mom spent the next few hours packing the boys things while I wandered around trying to make sense of things. Then, we picked the boys up from daycare and took them to their new home as told. I hugged their familiar little bodies, told them I loved them, and walked away.

The boys are gone.

We never planned for this situation to be permanent. Foster care is not supposed to be permanent. We knew a transition would happen. We expected this one to happen "soon." But not like this. We believed "the professionals" knew what they were doing and had the best interests of the children in mind. 

Yesterday morning, I was a mom. Today, I am not. I cannot describe to you all the thoughts and emotions running through me right now, but I will try to share a few:

  • Grief - For twelve weeks, we were a family. Our family has been severed.
  • Frustration - The situation was handled very poorly, with abundant miscommunication and even some dishonesty.
  • Sorrow - My boys are gone. My heart hurts, and I know their hearts hurt. They have been through so much already, and this is another hurt for them.
  • Shock - I just cannot believe how it all happened. What seems like mismanagement of a situation has left two wounded little boys and four foster parents trying to find our bearings.
  • Disbelief - Did I mention that I cannot believe it? I just cannot believe it.
  • Relief - The last twelve weeks have been some of the hardest we have ever experienced. My husband, an attorney, said they have been more stressful than preparing for and taking the bar exam. He got shingles as a result of the bar exam stress, so that's saying a lot. After living in crisis mode for twelve weeks, I do feel a small sense of relief. Today, that feeling of relief is FAR outweighed by everything else, but I am trying to remind myself it is there.

I want to thank all of the people who have supported and encouraged us during the last few months. We would not have survived without you. I will try to individually thank you in the coming months, but want to let you know how much you are appreciated now. 

If you are the praying type, please pray for the boys. They are so precious, wounded little guys. If I can't make sense of this situation, how can they? May they receive the peace that passes all understanding and can only come from Christ. May they never become stuck in the system. May they be loved and nourished all of their days. May they be safe. 

Please, Lord, take care of them. You made them. They were never mine. They were only ever Yours.