Wednesday, February 26, 2014

volunteering for Heartbreak

The Heartbreak of Foster Care

I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently: lots of funny looks and tiny head shakes. Its not something I write about on the blog, but since there’s interest, I’ll answer. People don’t get why I’ve opened up my home to a foster child.
I understand that. I really do. And maybe I can explain it to you and maybe I can’t. I went through a process to get here myself. Basically it boils down to this.
Love is always worth it.
But to open yourself up for heartbreak? People tell me “I couldn’t do that.” Well, I’ve said that too, so coming from the other side, and with no malice, let me just say, yes. Yes you could.
We choose not to.
The heartbreak of foster care
I mean, there’s nothing glamorous about it. You voluntarily allow a child into your home whose parents are probably less than stellar. They come with lice (or worse). They don’t know how to eat at the table properly. They probably cry for parents you wish could be locked up for decisions they’ve made. It means child services in your home, scrutinizing you in ways no one does for a biological child.
But take a second to consider the alternative.
The Heartbreak of foster care
Where else would they be? A fellow foster parent recently posted to her Facebook page “We don’t do it because we aren’t afraid of heartbreak, but because we are afraid of what would happen to them without us.”
Pretty much.
Foster kids are generally at the bottom of the social ladder. Who really wants these kids? Less than a week after the ink dried on our license I was holding a five month old in the middle of the night, tears streaming down my face as I both fed him a bottle and scrolled through my Pinterest account looking at pictures of Prince George. Just a few months apart, but the world ADORES the Prince of Cambridge. No one wanted the tiny life in my arms.
He literally was “the least of these.”
foster baby
In the hard moments that’s what I cling to. This little guy isn’t just a foster child. He’s my little piece of Jesus, right here in my house.
But apart from all of that, people still want to know.
Will I get my heart broken?
It already is.
His tiny smile and great big losses. The phone calls for another child who needs a home. Every news report. Every Amber alert. All heart breaking.
If he goes back to his bio parents I’ll cry because I will have lost him. If we adopt him I’ll cry because he will have lost his bio parents.
Heartbreak is really just part of living.
But hopefully I’m teaching all my kids a really important lesson. Be compassionate. Take care of those who are weaker than you. Share.
kids and foster child
And love.
Because I’ve looked into the eyes of an unwanted child and I know.
Its always worth it.

As you can see the first post is from someone else's blog.  Here is what I say to his beautiful writing.

Yet for one short week in the year Foster Parent Week foster parents are all considered abusers, neglectful, in it for the money and at its worse child murders as the Minister wants to continue to broadcast how many children have died under provincial care. No one reads further to see that many die due to unfortunate accidents (just as non foster children do), die as a result of their birth family prenatal choices or lack there of or even the abuses that the child has incurred that brought them into care in the first place. There are garbage people in every walk of life police officers, fire fighters, doctors, lawyers and EVEN including the judges and social workers employed to ensure the best interests of the children are met. For but a small few foster parents, social workers etc do what they do to help those who need help, to lift those that need lifting and worse case scenario finding new families for those whose ones of origin are too dangerous or apathetic. It is a thankless job if you are looking for public accolades however when as a foster parent you tuck safely into bed and kiss the top of a freshly bathed child who wraps their little arms around you saying "you are the best mommy ever!" and you know that for this moment for however these moments last this one child is safe, valued and very much loved that is the only accolade ever needed. The best.

1 comment:

Lia said...

Amazing post Tricia! Thank you!