Children in Foster Care, Encouragement, Forgotten Fridays, Foster Parenting, Vulnerable ParentsJul. 29, 2016

Forgotten Friday | Dear (Foster) Momma of a Stranger’s Child {Letter #6}

Dear Foster Momma of a Stranger’s Child,

You drove away the other day, didn’t you? You packed up your car with a year or two worth of memories of the child you have loved on, held on for one last time, kissed goodbye, and drove away.

You just wanted to turn the car around. You wanted to grab that little one, and hold on. You needed to feel that sweet embrace one last time, but you could not. As the miles began to separate you from the child you have called your own, the tears began to flow. You held them in. Brave warrior. You held them in.

Now as the silence is thickening the air around you, the tears just seem so desperate to escape. Each tear carries a memory, doesn’t it? The first time you saw the stranger’s child, that moment when you had a “breakthrough”, the silly laughs in the morning, the transformation you started to see in the birth mother, and the sound of a Judge’s voice determining that the child needed to return to the stranger whose child you have loved – are all just a glimpse of the lifespan of fostering that little soul.

To say it isn’t fair is an understatement, right? After all, you have been there to pick up the pieces of this broken child. You have worried night after night wondering if the child could get a few hours of sleep without calling out or having bad dreams. You have mended that little wounded soul when there was a setback, and you are the one who has watered, fed, and enriched this precious child’s roots with love, stability, and maybe just a bit of hope for the future.

Dear Foster Momma of a Stranger’s Child,

You had to drive away, didn’t you? I cannot imagine. I don’t want to. You did all of this while listening to the opinions of others who just don’t get it. It’s okay to be heartbroken. It’s okay to be angry. It really is.

However, dear Foster Momma, those pieces of your soul that you gave away to the child you said goodbye to will carry on. They will carry on in the prayers you taught him or her to say. They will carry on in the ability you taught to cope with surroundings, and the roots that you have toiled to establish. They will live through each success the child has, and in every heart-moment to come.

It will take a while for you to heal. After all, no one has ever said that foster parenting is easy. It is so hard. You have delved right into the despair of generational abuse and neglect, drug abuse, chronic poverty, and misguided souls.

In every way, you are a missionary.

Dear Foster Momma of a Stranger’s Child,

I find myself thinking of you, a lot. I want you to know that there is nothing greater than pouring yourself into a child….even if only for a little while. You may have had to drive away, but at least, you were there. You were present in every moment. You dried each tear. You voiced your concerns, and praised progress. And, after all was said and done, you had to let go. Through your faith, you have stood tall, and because of your faith, you will carry on.

Nothing will ever take away what an incredible blessing…a miracle, really…that you have been in this child’s life.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 

– 2 Timothy 4:7

                                                                                                                             

Caroline Bailey Caroline

Caroline is a mother to three children through adoption, and a strong advocate for foster care. At the age of eleven, Caroline underwent an emergency hysterectomy in order to save her life. Since then, she has known that she would never have biological children.

In 2006, Caroline and her husband, Bruce, became foster parents and quickly accepted the placeament of a newborn baby boy. Through their journey of foster care, they learned so much about the needs of children, and were greatly humbled by the experience. They went on to adopt their daughter after fostering her, and recently adopted their youngest boy in 2013.

Currently, Caroline works for a Christian child welfare agency in Missouri. Caroline shares her life experience about foster care, adoption, barrenness, and faith on her blog: www.barrentoblessed.wordpress.com

Caroline has been a guest speaker at churches and conferences regarding adoption, and is currently working on a memoir about her life growing up as the youngest female known to have a hysterectomy.

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