How do I break her heart?
This is my struggle. The struggle I have thought about for the last 11 months. When we adopted our daughter 11 months ago we knew we wanted to foster again. At the time, we said to ourselves, we’ll give ourselves a few months to recuperate, go on a family vacation without getting permission from a judge, live our lives without telling the social worker every little detail of our lives. Have freedom for a few months.
So we set a date… October!
By October we would be ready. Then October came, but our house was not suitable for a foster kiddo. Our house was under construction. We were putting in new flooring ourselves. We knew we wouldn’t be done until the end of November.
So we set a new date… December!
December is here. But we’re still not ready. Sure, the house is done. But we realized this would be the first Christmas without required visits and without the waiting and waiting and waiting to hear from the court systems. We decided that we wanted to celebrate a Christmas without the stress of the foster care system.
Now we are setting a new date… April!
At this point, we need to be realistic with ourselves and our true desires. We want to celebrate her birthday and go on a family vacation to another state. We want to go without having to worry about finding respite care or asking for permission to take a baby to another state. By April we will surely be ready. Right! Right?
But then there is this thought…
It surrounds me every time I look at my sweet, innocent girl. She’s two (very soon to be three). She loves with her whole heart. She loves every member in the family and asks to talk to them on the phone or to visit with each one of them regularly. It’s in her nature to be sweet and caring, and love everybody.
We are faced with a challenge…
One we didn’t face the first time around when dealing with the foster care system. My husband and I signed up for the foster care life. We are ready for our hearts to be broken. We took the classes, we had the conversations with the social workers, we understand the requirements and the facts that we are a tool of the state. We are a healthy loving home while we work to reunify the child with their biological family. We understand that adoption is only an option when all of those options fail. We are the last resort. Although we were lucky with her, foster kids don’t come with a 100 percent adoption guarantee. This we understand. We have prepared our seasoned adult hearts. We’ve lived through loss and heartbreak, and we signed up for the loss and heartbreak. We have felt heartbreak, we are ready for the sacrifice and know it is all worth it.
But she didn’t sign up for this life. She doesn’t know this feeling yet.
And so now we are in new territory. And we are faced with the question… Are we ready to break her heart if the new foster kiddo doesn’t stay?
And so our new date is April. We will be ready in April. We will prep her by April, we will have the various discussions we need to have to prepare her for love and loss. And just thinking about it, has me anxious for her.
And so now I ask those seasoned foster parents…
How do you prepare your kiddos for loss? Because just thinking about her loss breaks my heart, and it hasn’t even happened yet.
If you want updates on this blog or are interested in the foster parent resources like the foster parent planner, the foster child binder, or the foster parent binder I have available please follow this link to register and gain access to the resource library.
More recently, I published a post on recommended foster parenting reads, and thought it’d be really cool to start up a closed Facebook group where we would read a common book and share ideas and strategies that enlightened us. Please reach out to let me know if you’d be interested by commenting on the post or shooting me an e-mail. After the holidays are over I will start organizing this group and sending out invite e-mails.