If you are considering foster care and you’ve thought to yourself “I don’t know how I’d ever say goodbye…” or you’re new to foster care and your goodbyes haven’t happened yet, or you’re new to foster care and you’ve just experienced a new goodbye – let me share with you a little about what it’s like. For me anyway.
As I’ve mentioned in the past, some goodbyes are easier to say than others. But what I’ve learned is that no matter how easy or difficult it is, there is as an adjustment that follows.
For me, it has consistently been a two-week period. The first few times the children left, I found myself feeling aimless. And tired. So very tired all the time. The house was messier. I felt gloomy. Even when things went well.
I suddenly had time to do things that I enjoyed and time to reorganize, but I didn’t want to. And I didn’t really have the words for it. Within two weeks, I began to feel clear-headed. I found motivation. It was like a dense fog was lifting and I was able to join and enjoy the world again.
After the 2nd or 3rd of these episodes, I realized that this was my goodbye. This was my period of regulation. My body needed the rest. My mind needed the lack of focus. And if I give into it, then I am sure come out on the other side better and more energized for it.
After Cordelia left, we had Christmas and New Years and a Baby shower. I had been so busy that when we finally stopped and I spiraled into a muddied silence, it took me by surprise. I forgot to let myself grieve and rest and heal.
Sure enough, after about two weeks of lying low I’m feeling better. I’m not napping. I’m able to get work done and play with Simeon and keep the house clean.
I think after so much time spent pouring into another person, so much time working to build a family around a family-less child, their leaving leaves us in shock.
At a loss.
It doesn’t mean we won’t do it. It just means we have to be aware of how this lifestyle affects each of us and make sure that we take care of ourselves and each other so that we can say goodbye again and again.
In regards to our little family today. We’re waiting. I have decided that I will not call and put my name on the list. If they need me, they will not hesitate to call and I know that. And I know that if that’s the case, I will not say no. But for Simeon’s sake and for my sake, I’m keeping quiet. I’m lying low and enjoying the peace.
We have a hearing very, very soon and I want to be focused on Simeon. If all goes as we hope, we’ll need to begin helping him piece his story together. While a part of me is anxious to say hello again I’m OK waiting out another goodbye.