Saturday, November 19, 2016

Building a Family: Part 11

May 2014

Goodbyes are often on the horizon for foster families.  Within the span of ten days, our family of six has been reduced to four.

Hope Child's birth father has worked his services and is able to regain custody.  We are excited for her to grow up with him, but goodbyes are still hard.  Our prayer is that she has finally found her forever home.  We pack her up, once more.  #somuchpink
Mr. Apple Jack is also moving to live with relatives.  I am feeling all the feelings.  This is the first placement we have had where adoption was a possibility.  It was a slim one, but it was there.  And he was with us long enough to call us "Momma" and "Dada."  This goodbye leaves us raw.

We pray over Mr. Apple Jack and the CPS caseworker just before we buckle him into his carseat one last time.  I am ever thankful Patrick works at a place that understands the needs of foster families and allows him to take the rest of the day off.  We need to be together.  As we watch him drive away, the girls cling to us and the tears begin to flow.

We go inside and huddle on the couch.  Tears slowly fade.  The rest of our day is spent close to one another.  Movie watching.  Talking.  This is therapeutic for us and our girls.  I cannot recommend this highly enough for other foster families.
Since beginning this road with our family, many have expressed their fears about us getting hurt.  Very valid concerns.  We have been hurt.  Fostering is crazy hard stuff.  But we are not alone in our sorrow.

You keep track of all my sorrows.  You have collected my tears in your bottle.  You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
God has called us to it.  It is worth every tear.

Last paragraphs taken from previous post.
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Tips for When Foster Children Leave

1. NEVER pack them up in trash bags.  That stigma is horrible.  Always use boxes and suitcases.
2. DISCUSS with the child where they are going.  Tell them as much information as possible.  This helps with their anxiety.
3. PRAY with the child and the entire family one last time.  Thank God for the time you had together.  Pray protection and love and Jesus for them in their new home.
4. CRY together once the child leaves.  The other children in your home need to see that to mourn is natural and healthy.
5. BE TOGETHER for the rest of the day or weekend.  The children in your home need to know you are still a family.

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