Its been a long day. I am exhausted in every sense of the word. In fact I have no idea why I'm not in bed other than I have too much rattling around in my head that I need to purge myself of. Nights of limited sleep (3 hours some nights) and a very emotionally trying day has left me feeling all used up. I feel more like an old worn out rag than a woman right now. I think a good nights sleep tonight will bring a whole new rejuvenation...I'm hoping. That and some pouring my heart out to God and filling myself up in Him.

We went to the city today with Peanut to pass him off to his new foster parents. It was hard. I've been pretty controlled over the weekend and had pretty much cried my tears out the first couple days after we learned we had to take him back so soon. I had wrapped my mind around it all. This morning I was fine the whole drive in..but my throat started to clench and my eyes started to water as we walked into the building. I tried my best to put on a brave face throughout the exchange but holding it all in was exhausting and made my head ache and my throat hurt. It was hard to force my arms to unwrap themselves from him and buckle him into someone else's carseat. I really don't like crying in public. It all came out on our way back out to the car carrying the empty car seat though. I feel even less assured than I did before and still can't really understand what the decision process was in this. I know it could have been a lot worse for him though and I think he will be well taken care of and loved where he is going (at least until the next move. ) Still its hard not to feel like he's mine. Even though I know in my head that he's not. The truth is my hubby and I both fell in love with him and would have made him a part of our family in a heart beat.

I am realizing after my initial rant last week that it isn't wrong to love him like I did. It might seem foolish but its the only way I operate. I will not hold back love when it is needed...even if it hurts more later. I'm a big girl. I'll be ok. My heart is tired but fortunately it is intimately connected to a heart much bigger than my own. I know I will be able to open it up again (even though last week I was ready to quit)....the truth is I love being a foster parent. I think that's why I felt so confused. If this is something that is so good, so right and so what I'm meant to do (which is how it feels)....then why does it feel so rotten and hurt so bad too? I know realize that I'm willing to take the one in order to experience the other. I think I understand that now. Just because it hurts doesn't mean its not something good.

After we left the drop off building we went out to do some shopping and errands. We have to take full advantage of every trip to the city, even though I kind of felt like going home to bed and pulling the covers over my head. Only a few minutes into shopping I got a phone call from "placement" saying they had two more babies that needed to be discharged from the hospital (3 days old and 7 days old). We seriously considered taking our empty car seat over to the hospital but after talking for a while and talking to the social worker we decided to pass this time and open our home again for the next little one who needs it. I need sleep. I need to refuel physically, emotionally and spiritually in order to have another go. I know my limit. I know I could manage but I would not be a nice person to be around while doing it. I think we realized this time though that we really enjoy the little ones. I think I'll leave all the baby stuff in the spare room for the next one. I have a feeling we'll be a baby house. Although I have no idea who God will bring across our paths next.

I'm so proud of my kids. They have been so sweet to our new additions each time. Silas was such a sweetheart to Peanut. He was SO gentle and loving toward him. I never once had to reprimand him for being too rough or being mean to the baby. He loved to hold him and help feed him. He helped him find his soother and brought him blankets. Keep in mind Silas is two years old. I worried about his transition through this most since its hardest for him to understand why kids keep disappearing around here. I started telling him a few days ago that Peanut was going to another home, to another mommy. Every time I explained it Silas proclaimed adamantly "(peanut) like dis mommy...like dis house....no go another one mommy!" and then he would contort his little face and start in on a very dramatic and very staged cry. It was so cute and so sad at the same time. He started in on the dramatic fake wailing when he examined the empty baby car seat I had brought back in the house this evening. "Where baby? WAAAAA" .
I made sure to reassure him that he only has one mommy and that he was staying with me. I don't want him to worry that he might disappear next.

Both Aili and Roman asked right away "so when are we getting another one?" " Can we get a girl this time?" (Aili). They are ready to get back on the horse. I make sure to have lots of open conversations about our being a foster family. Because as a foster family the whole family is involved even the kids. I want them to know they have a voice in this too. So far their hearts are open and I am consistently amazed at all that they are willing to share. Even their mommy.

I know in the days and even months to come there will be times when the tears will come unexpectedly. Times when I think about him and wonder about him. I still think about Kade and shed a tear once in a while, even months later. The sadness and missing is different than the death of a child (at least so far it has been for me) but there is still that coming and going of those emotions. Fine one day and sad the next. Happy one minute and then crying the next when I come across a piece of clothing or a toy that was left behind. It does bring back feelings reminiscent of a grief of long ago...there is an unpleasant familiarity in these empty arms and empty cradle. I know that they won't have a chance to stay empty long though. There are too many precious little ones out there who need loved on and need a home. I think the past loss of my own child maybe helped to make me strong enough for this work. It made me realize how much I can hurt and still survive, even thrive...and made me realize just how strong my God is when I am weak. Its amazing how God will use our past to equip us for what he has for us in the future. I can see that more clearly now.

Well I'd better go get caught up on some sleep so I can clean my dirty house and get caught up on that mountain of laundry tomorrow. Thanks for your prayers today. Please pray that Peanut and his brother would be made available and be placed in a loving forever home.


Shay said...

What an amazing testimony to the strength and understanding that God mercifully gives us. He is good.

Jobina said...

I love your sentence, "Just because it hurts doesn't mean its not something good." I'm learning so much about Foster care through you Carla! This is something I waffle with and my big question has always been "how will I let them go?" But I like your philosophy, even though it hurts it's still worth doing. It's still worth it to that child to have a huge outpouring of love on them for that small amount of time. I wouldn't want it any other way.
Have a wonderful time of rest and renewal...and tackling that mountain of laundry!

Grandpa Steve said...

Carla, thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts with us. Your openness (appropriately guarded)is an encouragement.

Each of have our own unique journey but sharing with others, partnering with others brings comfort and joy.

I pray for you often!