It’s been a while since I’ve written out my thoughts. Jonathon has done such a great job of putting his emotions on our blog, so I’ve let him 🙂 A lot has gone on the last several months that I’m still just processing. My silence has been on purpose. We’ve had a lot of new, raw trauma – first and secondhand.
One of our sweet boys had a major surgery. We’ve seen many leave our home and campus that we weren’t prepared for. Going through our own adoption license training. All of this causes me a continuous heartache and tension. I’m a person who needs closure. I need a definitive end to something. I know that the deep meaning of foster care is just the opposite of that. There’s no closure. Kids are always in transition. There are sudden changes. Nothing is predictable. The nature even of my own cottage is to assess kids and move them. This is where I wonder exactly what God was thinking, calling me to this job and this home. I live without closure. It has, no doubt, been a journey of sanctification and trust.
Right now I think God is just keeping me here, in the thoughts of trust and sanctification. Daily I sink into the fact that I’m not in control, that I can’t really change anything, that I don’t measure up, that I can try at this job, but I don’t make a difference. I get so angry and frustrated at the things that should be simple, but for some reason they can’t be. It drives me crazy to not have the final say about my kids most days. I’m in charge, but I’m not in control. There’s a difference, and it feels as wide as an ocean.
My upbringing and ‘Good Christian’ side tell me to combat this by trusting in God and giving it to Him because it’s Him who does it all. He makes me measure up. He prompts the change. He makes the difference. He is just.
But let’s please remember that I’m a feelings person. Please. I need the feelings! But the fact is, they aren’t there. Trusting in God with my children doesn’t feel great. So I have to get a grip. Even when every part of my flesh is pulling me to control as much as I can, Jesus died so that I could be free of that temptation and desire.
Oh how easily I forget that God also knows my kids. I am more and more protective of each child the longer I am a mother. I learn how to love each one in a unique way. I love doing that. I feel like I’m made to do that. I was made to do that. I deeply value the relationship I have with each of our kiddos, but there are a plethora of people who make more important decisions or have more opinions than me when it comes to each kid’s situation. Many days being the actual foster parents feels like the least heard or valued opinion within a sea of other voices. Now, I understand that we are all working together to keep the child safe, but it just hasn’t felt that way. I feel bitterness and frustration creeping in on me.
I have to breathe. I have to tell myself that God is in control. I have to be confident that He has guided our steps to this specific job, even on days that I want to quit. He reassures me that even in the chaos, miscommunication, and factors of a broken system, God knows my kids. He can protect them better than I can. I have found a way on Earth to connect and relate to them, but He knows what their every thought is! He created them.
So I live in limbo. I live without the closure, ever attempting to trust a wise, all-knowing God with my most treasured earthly possessions. Writing is out makes it seem so simple. Getting past myself brings the complication.
“Many days being the actual foster parents feels like the least heard or valued opinion within a sea of other voices.”
As a fellow foster mom, I totally get where you’re coming from. The CASA is the court’s eyes and ears. The GAL is the legal representative. The doctors/therapists are the medical experts. The social workers represent the State who is the actual guardian and calls the shots. The judge makes court rulings. And us? We’re *just* the moms. What do we know? We’re not even the *real* moms. And if we don’t do as the authorities say, we risk losing our kids. Sometimes it really does feel like our opinion means the least.
BUT. I wouldn’t trade my role for the roles of the legal folks or the experts. I get to cuddle and kiss and nurture. I’m the one pouring love into the littles every day. I get to transform lives, demonstrating that hope and happiness and kindness are real possibilities for these downtrodden kiddos.
And when I sad, feeling like people are treating me like my opinion doesn’t count, I sometimes am smart enough to be thankful. Thankful, because not having a say is what our foster kids live out every day. Did it matter whether or not they wanted to be abuse or neglected? Does it matter whether or not they wanted to live with their parents? Did anyone ask them if they felt we’d be good foster parents for them? Oh. Their opinion really doesn’t matter to most people. They don’t get to have a say. And having felt this way in the process myself, I can now better relate to how they are feeling.
Thank God I feel wretchedly out of control. This must be the feeling my foster children live with every day. Now that I can somewhat share this feeling, I can be a better foster mom. I can truly empathize with the confusion, anger, fear, and sadness that arise from being so helpless. I can show them that it’s ok to not be in control, to trust in love, and to find a way to a place of light and happiness.
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