If I had to sum up what I've learned most from our fostering experience in one lesson, it would hands down be the importance of my family. I have never doubted our unique bond or overlooked the indescribable treasure that it is, but the clarity these past 5 months has brought is beyond refreshing!
My Family from WiddlyTinks.com
We are a lively, crazy bunch who loves loud! As in the action of loving BIG....not that we aren't also pretty loud most of the time....it's kind of an unavoidable reality of a family the size of ours! We each have very clearly defined, individual personalities, but we love, love, love being together! Like we can't get enough of each other most days. I know, crazy huh? We start our days with huge snuggle piles in my all too small bed. We eat together, do chores together, talk, laugh, cry, learn, play, argue, eat some more, read, watch a movie, talk, laugh, and end it all with more cuddles. There is very little "alone time" in our home. We thrive in this! And most days, it's a lot of fun!
Now, we had been cautioned upon beginning our adventure in foster care that some children wouldn't want to be a part. That rejection is simply part of fostering and that some may avoid attachment so as to protect their loyalty to their own family. This isn't something that should be taken personally and so on. Sure, sure, whatever....that wouldn't happen to us. We would love them like they had never known love. I mean WHO wouldn't want to be a part of this family, come on! Well, it indeed has happened. And you know what, it hurts. It is very sad. Sad for our family yes, but sad for this child. Regardless of every attempt on our parts to give space, allow time, and offer everything imaginable in form of safety, security and comfort, we have met the one that refuses it all. It is frustrating and flat out makes you mad some days. But, it troubles me on a much deeper level for this little person who carries a burden far too heavy for their tender years. To know that there truly is no real explanation that we can offer, nor any real sense for what the future holds. When you pause for a moment to reflect, all in all, I guess it really isn't so difficult to understand the distance and lack of attachment that is present. The idea that love can heal anything, while beautifully romantic, just isn't true. We love this child. We want for them the very best. And having to come to the realization that that may quiet possibly NOT be us.....a very difficult thing to swallow. Perhaps this little person has taught me far, far more about the importance of my family and our unique bond than I may ever pass on to them. Perhaps teaching me to love each member of my team deeper, hold them tighter, speak to them more personally and give them my genuine attention is the ultimate lesson to be learned. For that I am overwhelmingly grateful. Heavy, yes, but oh so grateful.
And in those moments when I think "Does it even matter Lord? Is what I'm doing today having any impact whatsoever?" I am thankful for the reminders that come in the form of a full lap, giggles and the ring of "I love you mommy!" in my ears. And hopefully, so very hopefully, something that is witnessed will at least be remembered fondly.