Wednesday, February 4, 2015

And We're a Family of Five Once Again

The very day I posted this we received a call saying that in four days our foster toddler (who had been with us for seven months) would be going home to his mother.

It felt like a kick in the stomach.

Everyone involved acknowledged that it was much more sudden than anticipated.  I was expecting weeks of extended visits then overnight visits then weekend visits before packing up his remaining clothes and toys and kissing him goodbye.  The four hours notice we received in advance of his coming seemed much longer than the four-day notice of his leaving.

The day of the initial call was pretty devastating.  I managed to keep it (mostly) together in front of the kids, especially when telling them.  We talked about the simultaneous feelings of joy (for him and his mother) and sadness because we would miss him terribly.  It was a heavy day.  I found myself looking at him in a totally different way.  I vacillated between giving him extra attention and starting to gather his things.  When I'm stressed, I clean.  Evidently, when I'm about to send a foster child home I pack days in advance.

By the second day, as plans came together (when his overnight visit would take place, the actual time of his transfer, and plans to see him again), I began to feel peace.  I knew I wouldn't feel like a true foster parent until I had the experience of watching a child move on.  I was almost there.  This was part of it all.  I could do this.

The day I handed him back to his mother was emotionally charged but, oh, so positive.  We met at the office and talked of his routines and most recent new skills. I was nervous and I'm fairly certain his mother was, too.  Out in the parking lot, we exchanged tears and hugs.  On the way home, I lost it and bawled like a baby.


It's been almost a week since he's gone home and I could not be happier.  God is so good.  Our family is blessed to be able to provide childcare for him several days a week.  His mother and I are developing a voluntary relationship- one that is not forced, one in which we are equals.  Having her in our home is even more wonderful than I had imagined.

I feel like I'm walking on a cloud.  Sure, I miss him and wonder if he wonders where I am and when the kids will bound around the corner to play with him, but we get to see him and love on him every few days, often even a couple days in a row.  I count his mother as my friend and look forward to having them in our lives for as long as they want us.

Well before we knew of his imminent departure, I was anxious about what we would do when he left.  How long would be the right amount of time to wait until we accepted another placement? Would we all feel ready at the same time?  Would I feel like someone was missing again?  Would I be perpetually sad?

Being able to help with his childcare has been the answer to so many of these questions and prayers.  I consider this phase an extension of his placement.  There's no reason to think of my next step.  This is my next step.  Instead of breaking down in tears of loss, I weep tears of joy.  My heart and life are full.  This- the reunification of a family and the ability to remain in relationship with them- is why I wanted to do foster care and I feel bowled over and incredibly lucky to have experienced it on the first try.


My heart breaks for those who have had to send a foster child home to a birth family that doesn't seem to have it together.  My heart breaks for those who have had to send a foster child along when they wish they could call them their own.  My heart breaks knowing that it's possible that one day, no matter what our intentions, we could be some of "those" folks.  For now, I am incredibly thankful. And I am so very grateful to each of you who have prayed for us and reached out to us via email as fellow foster parents.  We have felt your prayers and your love.

While I do find myself with more time these days, this blog will likely stay fairly quiet until spring. We are all still adjusting to our new normal.  We are reestablishing old routines, sleeping longer (my alarm clock went home) and feeling out our new roles.  We talk often of new projects for the warmer seasons and look forward to sharing them with you in a couple months.  Until then, may you feel God's supernatural love and bask in His peace.  God is so good.

Jane Pin It


  1. Hi there dear friend. I've been away from blogging & reading other blogs for a while. So, I must have missed the fact that your family was fostering. I just have to say that you wrote a beautiful post here. And, you gave that sweet child exactly he needed when he needed it - a safe haven and a loving family and home. Your willingness to do that knowing that he wouldn't be with you forever is such a testament to sacrificial love. You've given his mother a wonderful gift too. It sounds like you've developed a relationship based on trust and genuine compassion with her. And it's so wonderful that you'll still be able to be a part of their lives.

    I've considered fostering for our own family. My husband isn't so sure about it though. And, it's definitely one of those things we'd both have to be in agreement on. I'll have to go back & read some of your older posts and kind of catch up on how your family reached the decision to foster and the process you went through.


    1. Karen, at this time of night I'm sleepily pecking this out, and I'm sooo content knowing you wrote my heart keeping me from crying all over the keyboard. I too have wanted to foster children. There was a family in my hometown that took in children, not out of love, but for their labors. Being too young to have my voice heard, I vowed instead to foster children once my own children left home. Jane, this is my first visit to your blog. It's so very much refreshing to hear a young woman speak from the depths of her heart rooted in the Love of God. I've been whittling down the blogs and accounts and whatnot for the last two days. During, I've felt relieved even while knowing I would miss those I've had a long time, but God gave me You, and 1 or 2 others who More than surpassed what I thought I couldn't give up. Blessings to you and your's

  2. You've got me in tears, but I am in awe of the positive experience you have had with this little guy and his mother. Bless you and your family for listening to God's call.

  3. Gorgeous and beautiful and wonderful! How I wish every child in foster care could know this kind of love. I will keep you and your family and him and his Mother in my prayers. xo

  4. Thank you. I pray that one day this child's testimony of salvation will acknowledge the grace that he received in your home, and the prayer-work that you have all done for him. May God's peace continue to fill your hearts, your minds and your home during this transition. Your children will be particularly in my prayers as they get used to the "new normal".

  5. I cried reading this. And I'm so happy that this transition is going smoothly. What a wonderful connection you have with the mother!

  6. The world needs more foster families like yours. You've helped this family, and it turn created a wonderful bond.
    Thank you.

  7. Thank you and your family for your willingness to foster.
    There are emotional costs and many blessingsin fostering. It is definately, worth it, in making a difference in a child's life. Also now in his Mother's life by offering her friendship. God Bless.

  8. It is amazing how our attitudes and outlooks influence our reactions to situations. The fact that in your heart and mind you know God is in charge makes this beautiful post possible. You have been very inspiring!

  9. I'm so glad he is back in your home for a couple of days-just for his little psyche to know people he loves just don't disappear. You are a strong admirable woman, I hope you know that. And a blessing in that's child life and his mother's also.

  10. Can't stop the tears from falling. First for heart-wrenching sadness, then for heart-filling admiration. You, dear Jane, (and your whole family) are amazing.

  11. Dear Jane ~ What a blessing to read this!! What a blessing you are!! May the Lord continue to give you grace and strength and courage each step of the way. How Good He is!! What a precious experience He is walking you all through. May He be your portion day after day. I am praying for you today as you forge a fresh path. Hugs, Camille XO

  12. May God bless you and your family and may you continue to be a blessing to others. The relationship that you are building with your foster child and his family, as an extension of opening your home for that initial period of time, is an encouraging model of what it might look like to support the whole family and not just the child. Thanks for sharing.


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