After writing last night, and remembering each child I fostered who went home to birth families, different adoptive families, other family members, I kept thinking about a comment I've heard so many times over the years.
"I could never be a foster parent. I'd fall in love with the child, and would love them to much to give them up."
Fair enough. I know that's what people think. I thought it myself. Until I lived it.
This is what I learned.....
You can never love a child too much. And sometimes, you learn to love them enough to let them go.
It's not easy. Nothing worthwhile in life ever is. A child leaves, and you rejoice for their new life, or you worry they'll never be safe. You think of them, you pray for them, you cry and grieve your loss.
You pray that somehow you've made an impact.
That they'll remember, either consciously or unconsciously, and that your love will have made some small difference.
That the cookies you baked,
the boo-boo you bandaged,
the games you played,
the fears you calmed,
the love you gave,
will stay with them, and become part of this small child, in a home they didn't choose, through no fault of their own.
I'm not a perfect mother, or a perfect person, or a perfect saint. I feel, I mess up, I cry, I admit mistakes - but never defeat.
If I could be a foster parent, then maybe, just maybe, you could be one. It's not for everyone. If you can't do it, there are other ways to help. But if you're interested, take a look here.