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6 Months as Foster Parents

So the title may have had wittier moments in my head, but in all reality, it is full and honest truth. Six months as Foster Parents. I would like to know where the last half of a year went...

This summer was quite the season.  Although it is supposed to be a season of warmth, relaxation, and vacations, we were in a Winter. A really long, brutal, stormy winter, where you hunker down in your house and wonder when the storm will pass. On the sunny days of this winter, we basked in the light and enjoyed the 30 degree temps. On the cloudy, sub-below temp kind of days - well, we made it through to the next day.

To say I have learned more in the last six months than just about any other six months in my life, would be a completely accurate statement. The learning curve my husband and I have been on has been huge. There are days we scored a perfect 10. And there have been many more days where we have scored a 2, if being gracious in the scoring.

Trauma is - well I have words for it, but since I have kept this blog PG, I won't say it.  :)

Trauma does really awful things to kids.

I think of myself on my "bad" days, and how my forethought is just to keep it together Mara. It's just a day. Life is good and tomorrow will be better. But even with those thoughts, oofta can I be a grump. I take out my frustrations on those I love and trust and I blame myself for "failures" that aren't really true.

Now take my bad days - take YOUR bad days - and put them into a young child. This child, has not been given the means to understand how to react to this bad day. This child does not understand how to control her emotions. This child does not understand that the person that loves and takes care of her is not the perpetrator that haunts her. This child wants nothing more than to have a good day, but her body tells her that good days are numbered. And this is what my kiddos deal with day in and day out. And when this all becomes too overwhelming, well, the behaviors begin. Behaviors that seem to make no sense to those around them. These traumas in their lives, they overtake these little ones, and we as the adults do our darndest to help them through, but we are human too and can't always figure out the best way to give of our love.

It has been a hard road, loving kiddos that push back from that love. Loving kiddos that don't trust your safety, because they've been unsafe before. Loving kiddos that want all of your time, and yet there is only so much to give. And yet, some how you just do it. You love these kids, no matter what the cost.

There have been many changes in the last six months. We started with four foster children, this summer had three, and right before school we now have two. By the end of October we may very well be back to our two boys, unless we get another call for another child - which is very possible. It is hard to see our kiddos leave, and yet, it is very bittersweet. They are all going to be in forever families very soon and for that, I am very grateful. They will all be safe and loved, and what more can I ask for. There are times I wish we could have said "yes" these children can be part of our forever family, but for multiple reasons, we realized it wasn't what was best for us or for them, and that is ok. It stinks. But it is ok.

We were a part of one of their seasons of life. Although at times it definitely felt like winter to us, I do believe it was one of the best summers they've ever had. We have a bond with these children that will always be a part of them and us. Our lives will never be the same now that they were a part of our family. The struggle was real over the last few months, but everyone's hearts grew and learned to accept and love new friends. There was a real and true reason these children came into our lives when they did. I have a strong sense that we were a part of their lives at just the right time and helped pave the way so that they could have open hearts when moving into their forever homes. My heart is oh so saddened to say good bye, but it also rejoices in the new journey they all get to begin, and I know their journeys will now be good ones.

So 6 months into a new crazy journey for us in the realm of foster care, and although a hard one, we have decided we aren't done yet. There are so many children still in need of a safe home and we feel called to continue providing this need. We also would love to add more to our Forever Family some day, and pray Caleb & Tope have more siblings soon. We are growing our family! It's completely a nontraditional way that has so many hoops and stumbles, but we are confident that this is all in God's hands and trust this path (even if I ask a million questions a day!).

Looking forward to what the next 6 months have in store. God sure knows how to keep me on my toes!



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