We have officially had the kids for 6 weeks! What an exciting journey. Each day, it feels like, I do something to royally screw up at this and, each day, I see God’s grace abound in my heart. How easily and quickly young kids forgive their parents for messing up!
It’s funny. When people find out we are “just” fostering these kids and that there is a chance they won’t be with us forever, they usually say something along the lines of “Oh I just couldn’t handle that. I could never let them go.” I always thought that is how I would feel. That is why we resisted fostering for so long. Don’t get me wrong. I love these children so much. I would give anything to keep them forever and watch them grow and have their own children one day. When thinking toward the future, I pretty much include them in every plan from what vacation we’re going to take this summer to how old I want baby T to be before we have another baby. (Yes, we’re not done. LOL) But it’s been neat to experience God refining my heart, giving me peace and allowing me to open up my heart fully to them, knowing they may not be there forever. He’s also allowed me to love their “other mother.” Well, actually, when you think about it, that’s me. I’m a stand-in. I find myself praying fervently for her and hoping she will make the effort it takes to do something good by these kids.
After the first week of having the kids, we were told they would have weekly visits with their mom. The visits would take place at a visitation center. We would bring them there and once she came we could leave. We would then return in 2 hours to pick them up. I feared this. I have heard stories of kids coming home with behavioral issues, unable to sleep, etc. etc. after visits with their bio parents. The day for the first visit came and we decided we would not tell the kids where they were going for fear they’d be scared of disappointed if she didn’t make it. Michael took the kids and waited the required 15 minutes for her to arrive. Nothing.
One week later, we prepared for the same thing. 15 minutes went by. Nothing.
The next week, about 10 minutes after our appointment time for the visit, the kids’ mom called and said she was on the way. 20 minutes later, still nothing. So, they left.
Let me tell you how mad I was. Frustrated. Hurt. How could you NOT want to see your own kids???? How could you not do EVERYTHING in your power to get there???? I look at these children and think how much she is missing every day. Baby T is growing so fast and changing so much. She’s missing it. I hurt for her. Knowing only a tidbit of her situation it is so hard to know if there is ANYTHING she could even do to get out of it.
We took a week off of visits while we were on vacation but were told we must resume taking the kids. What?! I begged the social worker, how long does this have to go on? Luckily, the kids don’t know why we are there but, what if they did? Is it not in the best interest of the child to put an end to this? Her answer: it’s the law. This was so hard for me but, I just have to keep reminding myself of all the times God gives me “just one more” chance when I screw up. And then, does it again. I must extend this same grace to others, namely her.
So, this week came and, five minutes BEFORE our appointment time, there she was. Michael, being the one who takes the kids each week, got to meet her. Understandably, she didn’t have much to say to him. Baby Girl cried when he handed her to Mom. The boys kind of just stood there until she asked for hugs.
This day was really hard. But, it’s neat because, because of the love and grace God is giving me daily in my heart, as much as I hope these kids will be ours forever, I would be just as fine if she could do what she had to do, become a parent who could care for them the way they need to be cared for, and get them back.
Please be in prayer for their Mom and the kids.