Dreams, This is Foster Care

Good Days. Bad Days.

to my foster child

When I started thinking about this post earlier this evening, I had the “good days/bad days” thought in my head. But really, it’s better to describe them as moments. This foster care journey so far has had some of the darkest moments and I know I have only seen a tiny tip of the iceberg.

Instead of good days/bad days, I’ll say we have good moments. We have good moments. I try so hard, when a deep belly laughter escapes one child’s mouth and echoes through my home or car, to see them as the children they are. I long for those “childish” moments when they are just that – children.

But more often than not, particularly with one of my kids, they do not see the world as they were intended. They are children with experiences some adults don’t know how to process. There are good moments when the child shines through and she twirls in McDonald’s to show me her pretty dress. Or when he eats a cupcake and shows me the most ridiculous excited face, to show how much he loved it.

These are the fleeting moments. I wish I could say they have increased with both children. They have with one. With my other kiddo, they are few and far between. I try to cling to them and remember, but I’m human. And exhausted. It’s hard to remember when the pain lashes out at you.

That’s the truth, my friends. The bad and difficult moments, particularly for one of my kids, outweigh the good. I hurt for them. And though I’ve always had a thing about justice and defending the fatherless, I’ve never before hated evil in this world, more than I do now.

Sunday was one of the hardest nights I’ve ever experienced. In part because I am physically drained because my rheumatoid arthritis is no longer in remission and because I’ve been sick. My immune system, purposefully suppressed, is a good thing. Until it’s not. It hasn’t been for me the last two weeks.

At some of my weakest moments on Sunday (physically), I literally cried out to God – why? Why did these two beautiful kids have to bear this burden? Why are you not answering me? Why? I wish I could share some of my hardest moments from that night but it’s not my story to tell. It’s theirs.

This, however, is my story to tell: I have never been so at a loss, heartbroken, and exhausted. Yesterday, my rheumatologist said no infusions until you’re well. This means my joint pain increases by the day (as does my fatigue). Today, my coughing slowed but a fever appeared. I’m writing this post through chills and praying tomorrow it’s gone. I’ve had two choices in the last 2-3 weeks – let myself deteriorate physically or chose myself over the kids and cause further trauma for them.

Life’s a @#$*.

Yesterday, in my exhaustion I reached out – to my church, to my chaplain, and the day before, prayed for one sliver of something for me – to make me smile and just feel a little hope.

I got it and more.

My church’s children’s minister prayed with me and I’ve had two meals the last two nights from them. Her support and the church overall is a church home I’ve missed for many years.

The support I have from work is awesome. It’s so not required of them. But, they are supporting me and I’ve never been more grateful for this Marine Corps life. Just last week, I had four people through my Marine Corps life, make us meals. What an incredible blessing and gift! I appreciate our chaplain’s counsel so much – he confirmed what I knew I needed to do.

I also had a moment of peace yesterday when I could smile and feel a little hope. I’m ever so thankful that He gives good, sweet gifts when we least expect them.

Tonight, I received an email from my son’s teacher. She told me that he had a writing assignment and among the other things he wrote, he said he is “lucky” to live with me because I am “so nice.”

I’m not crying, you’re crying! I’m the one that feels blessed by that kiddo.

Her note, along with his words, was another gift. I love that sweet, anxious boy (he’s a lot like little Randall in This is Us – for reals). I love his brilliant and very prickly sister. Clinging to these moments is needed.

So, in the bad moments, I’ll hope these stick with me. I’ll write them here.

Along with the sweet things, here are a few of the things said recently that have either made me literally lol out of cuteness or straight up funny or have made me love their hearts just a little bit more.

  • “Abby’s a great name!” (What 6 year old boy says things like this?)
  • Me: It’s because my hair is turning gray and sometimes falls out (convo is a long story). “Well I think it’s pretty.”
  • “Do dogs get to have Jesus in their hearts?” (I’m not crying, you’re crying.) By the way, I did not answer this question like my mom answered our God questions growing up – when you get to heaven, you can ask God. Teasing, Mom.
  • “Hi, Mommy!” It may have been spoken in a moment when she wanted everyone else to think her family is no different than theirs – but I’ve never heard those words spoken to me. Her little heart, longing for the things so many take for granted, expands my heart. Long after she leaves this home, she will take up a spot in my heart.
  •  “This is a terrible idea.” (A picnic at the park on a windy day.)
  • “I don’t believe I can carry all these dishes to the sink.”
  • FD5: Lanija can put braids in my hair.

    Me: Who’s Lanija?

    FD5: A girl that does braids.

    Me: Where does she live?

    FD5: Mexico, I think.

    Me: Ah.

  • Also, Lanija does yoga.

There are good moments. There are bad moments. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t want the good to outweigh the bad. For now, they don’t. I’ll look forward to the day that they do. In the meantime, I’ll pray for a reprieve so my health doesn’t walk out the door in the meantime.

1 thought on “Good Days. Bad Days.”

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