“Sometimes the ‘hardest thing’ and the ‘right thing’ are the same.” That’s what The Fray sang in their hit song from 2005, All At Once. I find that rings true in many areas of our lives.
Being a foster family- saying yes to broken, hurting, traumatized children - is truly one of the hardest things. But it’s also the right thing…for our family and a few other crazy families like ours.
This is the first website update we’ve done for quite some time. Many of our friends and readers know that we have been thrust into a fight for our youngest son since January. It’s consumed our time, our attention, our finances (and those of our friends and family), and our energy for the past 5 months. It’s. Been. HARD. And it’s not even close to being over, but it’s the right thing for our little guy.
If you followed our journey last year, you know that we added two additional bedrooms and a second laundry room to our home to make room for more. We thought maybe it would be for #LegendaryE’s two brothers, but that wasn’t the case. And then January brought the fight for #LegendaryE, and I swore off anymore interaction with the foster care system until “they” fix a broken system that all-too-often fails the children and inflicts additional pain on them and the people who love them.
Last week we started getting text messages and emails asking us to take additional placements- children with nowhere to go. In the past 4 days, we have received requests for 8 cases- each representing at least two children in each case. Some of them we have received multiple times, because they’re searching day after day after day for a home for the same 3 year old little girl and her 1 year old brother who live 3 hours away from us. There are no homes closer that can take them.
One of yesterday’s pleas was for a placement for two preschool-aged boys who were removed after their baby sister was taken, non-responsive, to the hospital. She passed into the arms of Jesus, but her 4 year old brother says he misses her and watched as the person abused her and ultimately took her life. They needed someone who could love on them, help them grieve their loss, and support them as they process an entire lifetime of trauma packed into 2 and 4 years of life.
Tomorrow we’ll receive more requests. They won’t stop, because we have two beds that are available and the need seems infinite. The shortage of foster homes in our state is greater now than it was last year or the year before. (The reasons why are another post for another time.)
We’ve counted the cost (it’s high), we’ve calculated the risk (it’s enormous), and we’ve now exhausted every ounce of self-preservation within our battered hearts. As a family, we have decided we are willing to say yes to another child (or children) in the coming days.
To most of the people who love us, this seems like madness. (And on some level, it is.) The life we’ve been called to isn’t one of comfort. In fact, it’s not even safe. It’s a mess of chaos and tragedy and tears and grief intertwined with redemption and healing and love and hope. It’s hard.
Sometimes, this time, the hardest thing and the right thing are the same.