Saying goodbye to our Little Man this past week was hard, our home just doesn’t feel the same. After 10 months, letting go doesn’t come easily, our hearts are aching and our home is changing. This past week of processing has shown me so much, as I flipped back through pictures just seeing the physical transformation of his body. A little malnourished body, eyes that were dark and withdrawn and a voice that didn’t speak. Months went by and his body began to heal, resources were sought so that he could begin to process, sleep and nourishment revitalized his body. He left our home a very different boy, if you are a local friend you watched the transformation right along side of us.
There is a balance that is expected of us as foster parents, we are to love and advocate for our kiddos while supporting the reunification efforts with our biological parents. Sometimes that juggle is difficult, when night after night we are carrying the pain of little souls, processing all their hurt and trauma. Neglect, abuse and trauma done by the very people they share genetics with, the very people biological designed to care and protect them.
In the early months with each of my kiddos, as the tears flow and the hurts are share you can’t help but despise “these people.” The neglect and abuse on their little bodies makes the Mama Bear instinct kick in. But the reality is they aren’t the enemies, their very DNA flows through the Little Souls in whom I kiss and tuck into bed each night, hating them is not going to fix anything.
Over time my perspective has shifted and my heart has changed as I realize that addiction, bondage and brokenness are the enemies. It was from there the trauma bloomed, taking root in the hearts of our biological parents. These Little Souls pay the price for this brokenness.
When a new child enters our home, they are welcomed, arms extended, space is created and the healing begins. I have fought really hard for the culture of our home and family. An atmosphere that makes space for healing, growth and change to occur. I love the idea that my Crew is a pack of wild and beautiful warriors. Warriors that are known by their kindness, health and empathy.
The act of parenting is an act of preparation, an act of sending forth, the goal of raising humans that make the world a little more lighter and brighter than they found it. Whether your children have come through adoption or foster care or have come from you, the goal of parenting remains the same. As we grieve and readjust to live without our Little Man, I find a peace that at first I couldn’t quite explain. A peace I believe comes from God, a peace that is bubbling up from the depths of my grieving soul.
I have not lost a son, his time with us these last 10 months was not in vain, instead his time with us was preparation. While he was here in our home he found tremendous healing, the kind of healing you can’t ignore, the kind of healing that can’t be squeezed out or goes unnoticed. The kind of healing his Mommy, Daddy and siblings need. So, his time with us equipped him to go back and be the spark, the change and the healing balm his family needs.
The time spent is always significant, the healing that happens is always significant, I sometimes wonder where they would all be had they not been a part of our family for a week, a year or forever. The system is not perfect, but it’s designed to get our kids out of harm and into our homes, even for a season. Our bio parents may relapse another three times and the trauma may continue but the impact these Little Warriors can make is life changing. Saying “goodbye” is never easy but focusing on the bigger picture takes the sting away, for a moment, at least. We are not always the forever homes for these Little Souls to land. We send them home, to the places they came from, the places where their DNA flows and hope that this time the sobriety sticks and that they can all move forward in health.
So with many prayers, we send him forth, onto the next leg of his journey. One that at three years old has been prepped for.