Well, it has become official on ironically enough April fools day. This however is no joke or prank.
We are officially done doing foster care. Our license expired this morning. After 65 children in our home over the last 15 years, 18 adopted and many friends made we are done.
It is time to continue to focus on what happens inside our four walls. It doesn’t matter how many children we help if we fail the ones in our home.
For those of you who joked that we would not be done you were right and wrong. We will never be done being a voice for children. We will never be done supporting, strengthening and focusing families.
We were chosen to follow a difficult path. We were chosen to do very hard things. We were chosen to make tough choices. We were chosen the be a light and a beacon of hope for children who had the rug pulled out from under them. We were chosen to be the parents of many children.
We followed the path Heavenly Father put before us. We have done our best. We have learned so much about children, development, trauma, the brain, how to advocate, hoarding, sleep deprivation, tantrums, anger and PTSD.
We have learned how to love unconditionally, nurture, view all children as “ours”, balance, how to handle our triggers and to rely on the Savior more.
We have grown in ways we didn’t want to. We have stretched ourselves beyond the capacity we thought we could handle. We have tried to become closer to who we were meant to be.
We have learned to share of our time, home, rooms, food and vacations. We have learned how to make strangers part of our family.
We have given up a lot but gotten so much more in return.
Foster parenting isn’t for everyone but it was for us. It may be for us again in the future.
What I do know is we have been blessed to experience this incredible journey.
As I sit here holding my youngest child, adopted through foster care, I marvel at the opportunities I have been given. I rejoice in the blessing of holding this beautiful boy. I smile at the thought of being his mom for eternity. I think about how blessed I have been to be a foster parent.
To all those who want to be foster parent or who are currently foster parents : thank you. You do make a difference. You continually choose to enrich the lives of children around you. You are their safe haven.
To the birthfamilies: you have taught us so much. You have taught is about true love. You have shown us that sometimes we have to do very hard things to give our children the very best we can even when that doesn’t include you. You have made hard decisions and had to live with them. You have changed to have your children back in your life. You have had to work hard and sometimes even harder to be with your children again. Some situations have been uglier than others but hopefully you will realize how much we think about you, how much we love you and our grateful we are for your beautiful children.
To all those who work for DCFS. I haven’t always liked your policies. I have not always liked your decisions. What I have always admired though is your dedication to children and families. You have had to make tough choices. You have had many sleepless nights thinking about “your children”. You have worried, been over worked, had to follow policies you don’t like, and so many other challenges I don’t know about. You are remarkable. Thank you for being inspiring.
To my birth children: you have given up so much. I hope you one day understand how much you have been given. What a blessing and joy these children are. You have sometime’s felt left out, unfairness and had to watch your parents have hard times. You have become better people living through these hard times. Thank you so much for loving us enough to support the chaos and craziness that our life is. Thank you for loving all of your siblings. Thank you for your continued support as you have grown into adults. Your love is felt like a blanket of comfort and peace.
Well, the door closes but others open. We are on to a different, new and exciting journey. We are ready to rest for a season. We are ready to embrace a different stage of life. We are ready to spread our wings and learn more about who we need to be and where we should go from here.
Foster care has changed our lives forever. So we are at the end. The end of 15 years of service. The time has gone quickly. I never thought the end would be here. But it is. So foster care world we bid you goodbye you will be gone from our lives but never from our hearts.