I'll wish that I had...
I wiped my own tears at Chick Fil A tonight. Not because the chicken sandwich was so good, but because I have done what many believe foster parents are never supposed to do...get attached.
I also ugly cried in the parking lot because my 3 year old was running towards to the road mid tantrum because he wanted to stay and play. The only way to get him to come back towards the car was to tell him that I was leaving him....it was an ugly/scary scene.
Two state workers had just left my home to inspect it, question me, interview the kids, slap my hand for all the paperwork and training that I am behind on and remind me that I am not the real parent.
Of course, the phrase "You are not the real parent" was never explicitly said. The sentiment was laced in the questioning about why the kids are calling me momma. It was implied as we talked about how the biological family is working the plan to get their kids back. It was obvious when I was reprimanded about not filling out the medicine log properly and asked about how I was letting the 1 yr old use her state mandated allowance of $1 a day.
I am just filling a gap right now and my head knows that but my heart refuses to receive the memo. There are moments when my heart aches just imagining the day when these babies who call me momma will say goodbye. That is the day that their family is waiting for, it's the day that DCS is working towards and it's the day that studies show is best for the child long term. It's the day that I am supposed to be praying for...
The Holy Spirit has been gently nudging me to remember that now is not the time to grieve and sit in spaces of sorrow for the instant family that could be instantly gone. I know that one day I will look back on this assignment from God and I will wish that I had of done a few things differently. I'd love to share those things with you as a way to challenge myself before it is too late.
I'll wish that I had...
1. Never refused a hug or kiss, even if my toddler was only asking for one so that he didn't have to go to bed.
2. Always picked up my 1 and 3 yr old when they asked no matter how inconvenient it was.
3. More dance parties with my 5 yr old.
4. Prayed everyday for their parents.
5. Never yelled in frustration.
6. Took at least one vacation with them.
7. Spoke truth and encouragement over them at the start of each day.
8. Shown them the talented, passionate and ambitious me not the " tired, stressed, never showers, first time single mama" version of me.
9. Never distanced myself from them emotionally to guard my own heart but recklessly gave my heart to them and bore the pain of that with grace and honor.
This is foster care.
Photo by Edward Eyer