This video is really well made. I highly recommend it. There are actually several portions you can view if you go to www.removedfilm.com. Every time I’ve seen it I’ve been brought to tears. Each time I see little familiar faces. Big sisters desperately wanting to continue offering care for their baby brother or sister. Babies crying for their mothers, not understanding why they were taken.
This month it is particularly hard to see. This month we will say goodbye to three sweet kids and due to circumstances outside our and their control, they will be going to different permanent homes. Siblings split up. It’s what the team of experts have agreed to do. It’s probably what is best for each of them. They will do well. They will be with relatives who love them. But they won’t be together. As an older sister, it absolutely breaks my heart. I’m trusting God. Trusting that they are going where they are supposed to be, trusting that not only does He have a plan for each of their lives, but that He has a good plan and He will protect them while it carries out.
Goodbyes are so hard.
The most common response I hear when people ask about foster care is “I couldn’t let them go”. I could not agree more. However, they aren’t mine to keep. If I could easily say goodbye, perhaps I shouldn’t be doing this in the first place. Goodbyes are hard. Our kids have a hard time, they don’t always understand why these kids come into their home and their family and then leave, sometimes never to see them again. My husband and I have a hard time, hurting over their loss and yet relief to be back to our little family, then guilt for feeling relieved. Relieved to step out of the constant visits and appointments and therapy, relieved to not have little strangers – no matter how loved – in the midst of our every moment.
Foster care is unique from other ministries. In foster care, you open your home, you bring the trauma under your roof, you bring the ugly of the outside world into your safe space. The things you would shield your children from are brought out into the open, discussed at the dinner table, and walked through day to day. It’s the only way to minister to these broken kids. There’s no going home at night, there is no break. It’s always present, always needing something, always there.
May is foster care awareness month. Perhaps you are already plenty aware. Perhaps foster care and adoption are a whole new world. Either way, there are people in your own circles who would love to hear some encouragement. If you know a foster family, thank them. If you know children in foster care, love on them. If you know a social worker, let them know they are so appreciated.
If you’re feeling called to open your home to a foster child, please contact me. I’d love to point you in the right direction. There are some fantastic resources available.
If you don’t feel called, please don’t try to take in a child. They have so much trauma, so much pain to work through. These kids don’t need the added pain of being in a home that isn’t right for them. There are so many other ways you can help. Support the foster family. These kids are brought with a garbage bag of clothes, sometimes. They often need underwear and toothbrushes, hairbrushes, sports or musical equipment, clothing, blankets, special babies or teddies. Take a foster family a meal. Send flowers to a social worker. Offer to keep a foster family’s kids for a date night.
And as always, pray for the foster families and the children in care.