For lots of reasons, but my heart keeps coming back to one. Starting over.
After 18 months of growing love and building trust, our precious foster son moved across the country to live with a biological relative.
Naturally, I miss him something terrible.
I miss his impossibly silly faces and the way he always ran with his arms sticking out straight behind his back like Sonic the Hedgehog. I miss his endless Flash themes and how he said “fiddlefart” when something didn’t go his way.
I knew the things he liked and the things he didn’t. And he knew that.
He knew he was known and loved here.
But he didn’t know that on day one or even on day a hundred and one. It took months of hard to get there.
When a child has been pulled from his family and placed in a stranger’s home, trust doesn’t come easily.
We have to earn it slowly. Overcoming hurts we didn’t cause and triggers we don’t know.
It takes showing up and coming through. It takes more encouragement than feels healthy. And more yeses than feel responsible.
For us that looked like things we never dreamed of. Stopping every morning at the corner store so he could walk into his new school with a bag of his favorite chips. Buying the Jordan shoes that were far more expensive than my own sneakers. Even learning how to play video games.
It takes these things multiplied by time. By months and sometimes years.
After investing all of myself to build trust, I’m wondering if I’m strong enough to do it again. If I have the emotional endurance to start over.
Liz Block is a creative director (not quite Don Draper) and new foster mom discovering the learning curves, joys, and struggles of motherhood and foster care all at once. Opening up her eyes and heart to far more than she ever imagined. Read more of her stories at FosteringReal.com.