This is our last weekend with our almost ten month old foster son. He will leave as suddenly as he came.
Here is the back story:
Almost three years ago our friends who do foster care got a newborn baby boy. His Dad was in jail and His Mom was not involved. The Dad had two other son’s that his parental rights had been terminated on. The state was going to terminate on this one as well. As far as our friends knew, they were going to be adopting this little one. The night before the termination hearing the lawyer for the state changed her mind and decided it would be best to go for a parenting plan for the Dad. A few months later, when he was 15 months old, L went back to his birth father.
The state continued to monitor them for a short time. Nine months later our friends got a phone call that L needed to be placed back in foster care and that there was also a newborn baby brother. Our friends knew they wanted L back, but could not take in the newborn as they had already taken in another infant a few months prior. They had the newborn brother (M) for a night while DFS looked for a foster home for him.
Because we are good friends and live close, I was over at their home in the morning helping out with the three under-two-year-olds. DFS called my friend at noon and said that they could not find a home for M. There were no stay-at-home foster parents and he was too young for day care. My husband and I had done some foster care in the past. We fostered two newborns over 2 ½ years and ended up adopting both of them. (This is one of our adoption stories) Our licence had expired, but my heart was being pulled. Here was an orphan on my door step. I could not look away. It was like Jesus was asking me, “will you take care of him…will you take care of me?” My heart was broken.
I called my husband who was visiting his parents with our four children and told him about this situation. There was some hesitation in both of us, but ultimately we knew we needed to take M in. I called the social worker and asked her if we could take him. They were able to licence us that day and M came home with me. The rest of my family came back home two days later.
Initially we thought that M would only be with us for three weeks. That plan fell through. DFS searched for other relatives that could take him, and that didn’t work out either. So here we are, nine months later, and he is going back to his birth parents.
To say our hearts are breaking would be an understatement. Foster care is such a mixed bag. I have true compassion for his parents, and I am praying for ultimate Justice and redemption for them and for M.
What is in front of us right now is most likely one of the most difficult things we have ever done. We have loved M like our own son. Our friends still have his older brother (L) and will hopefully be adopting him in the coming months. When the boys came into care last summer their Dad signed off his rights to L. He saw that the best thing for him was to stay with our friends. The boys have different Moms. Our little guys is his birth mom’s first child. They have done everything the State has asked them to do. Clean UA’s, made all their visits, parenting classes, therapy, drug rehab, etc.
This is not the end of their story or M’s. The parents are facing criminal charges for Felony Child Endangerment. Knowing what happened in that case makes sending M home more challenging emotionally for us.
We have no other option than to trust God. Trust that God will keep him. Trust that God will be sovereign in M’s life. Trust that God will continue to restore his Mom and Dad. Trust that we will be able to stay in touch with him and be a part of his life in some way.
This weekend will be a time of saying good bye. I might post again…the emotions are overwhelming and this is a good outlet for me to grieve. I am so thankful for our friends who are with us in this. I’ve had text’s, phone calls, and even a very comforting song that my friend Barb got from the Lord for us. Maybe I’ll share that in my next post.
All I can say is that when God calls us to something He does not guarantee a happy ending. At the same time, I have no regrets. I have learned to love more unconditionally….more like Jesus.
We will never be the same.