Before I begin this post. Let me say that I love that people care enough about Leo and Simeon and I to, not only read the absurd amount of nonsense I write, but that they also care enough to think about and brainstorm with us ways to parent better and help our family grow stronger. And I’m ever grateful for the ideas and encouragement we’ve been given both here and in our non-virtual lives.
That said, I have a new soapbox, so let’s get to it shall we?
To review: The number one most obnoxious thing people tell me is that they could never foster because they would love children too much to give them up. I heard this about a katrillion times the month before Cordelia left. By the end, I was ready to deck the next person who thought that would bring me comfort.
The second is when I share with someone that my child does, well, whatever crazy thing my child at the time does and the non-foster parent says something like “oh I totally get it, my child acts out, too” When if she really did get it, she would wrap her arms around me and cry because she found someone else who truly understands.
And now, the third thing that has begun rubbing me the wrong way is the number of people suggesting that we should take a break from fostering.
Simeon was our second foster child. Out of eleven.
That makes eleven hellos.
And ten good-byes.
It’s hard. It’s especially hard on someone who cannot really understand why yet. And someone who’s already hurting from too many goodbyes.
I get that. Believe me, I get it.
But. I don’t think that’s reason enough to stop. Because… I fully believe that each child I’ve said yes to (and believe me when I tell you, I’ve said a lot of nos) needed to be in my home for the time they were here.
The number of examples I can give of providence reigning in the lives of the children we cross paths with would take pages and pages to write.
My point is that I know that Simeon is hurting. I do. But I also believe that he can be healed. And each goodbye helps us get a little deeper into the root of things.
And each time a child comes through, he understands a little better the process and our role.
And he’s getting therapy. And we’re able to confirm our love and desire for him.
And it’s really easy to say we won’t take any more children when we aren’t getting calls.
And it’s really easy to suggest we should take a break when no one’s asking you to open a bed in your home for a child who doesn’t have a friend in the world to help them, and they’ve… been rescued from a violent battle between parents, been caught in her mother’s deep depression and almost taken to death, been physically damaged for life because of his mother’s drug addiction, witnessed the murder-suicide of family members, been moved and left and neglected for years, been living in squalor so horrendous it’s unimaginable, been born cocaine positive … And the list goes on.
So, as long as I see Simeon continuing to heal (and I do, slow as that process may be), and as long as I know there are children who desperately need a safe place to land and few homes for them to land in, I’ll keep up the revolving door.
Because I cannot, after seeing the faces of children on the very worst days of their lives, say no. I cannot.
And right now, I’m thinking I will take a break. But I’m also quite certain that if my phone rings and if I know that I know that the child needs our home then I will not be able to say no.
I will not.