Letters from a foster Mum - the reality

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Dear Friends

I know  it's what we're meant to be doing.  You know how, deep inside, you feel that this is exactly what you were made to do, what your life has been moulding you for.  That's exactly how I feel about foster care. But my, oh, my, it is without a doubt the most difficult thing I have ever done.  This journey is more turbulent than any I have traversed, the seas more torrent, the mountains more steep.  My emotions are scattered a million ways and not one day passes when the doubts rise high as I see how very inadequate I am for this role.

A mother's day present from one of the precious kiddos currently staying with us!
We have had extra family members for quite a while now.  They will not be here much longer & we will be very sad when they leave. They are the most precious kiddos possible.  We have quickly grown to love them. Yet, they can be so very difficult  at times.  Our home which was once quiet & peaceful  (well...relatively with 4 kiddos residing here), now has regular times where we are dealing with defiance, disobedience, screaming tantrums & deep sadness.  Not that there is anything wrong with the sadness - in fact had I been through what they have I'd act in exactly the same way - NO - I'd act a whole lot worse I'm sure.  Our bio children are bewildered as to why the children act the way they do.  They have never seen such actions. Being children, they don't have the empathy of adults. They simply don't understand. And there are moments which are particularly trying for the whole family, yet there are moments when it all makes sense too.

One such moment occurred on a recent evening.  Dave was away & the children were all a tired.  This had been a challenging evening for this particular little one and he was acting out. Most evenings are not like this at all, but he had just received some difficult news the week before.  Everything (it felt like at least) resulted in a temper tantrum.  His tantrums take on the form of what I would expect from a  two year old (although he is years older than that): throwing himself on the ground, screaming, kicking & beating with his hands.  After each episode he would them self-discipline himself by hitting himself even though I tried my hardest to gently dissuade him from this practice.  Needless to say, it was very draining for the whole family & for me in  particular. As I sat on the floor beside him during one such episode, the screams turned to sobs & the anger turned to pure sadness.  I sensed the change & I reached out my arms to him.  Quickly he climbed onto my lap & began crying & crying - the anguish was real, the heartbreak coming through so strong.  "I just want to go home to __________(people at previous home)"  he said between sobs & my mother-heart; at that moment it broke. As I held him, I cried along with him. The sadness this one little life has endured.  The pain that his little heart holds.  He did not ask for any of this. He is the innocent victim in his whirlwind life.  He's told where he needs to go & what he is going to do.  He's told who he's going to live with & who will be his new family. I cannot offer much security to him as I don't even have the answers myself.  No wonder he is trying to control what he can. Those tantrums, they all begin to make sense.

Another beautiful mothers day present from another precious little one!
And that is exactly the reason we are doing this difficult job.  Not because we enjoy dealing with the tantrums, the behaviours, the defiance (oh no, who would like that).  We do this job simply because these are little people who are hurting.  If we can be a safe place for them then it is worth it. If we can provide them with happy memories of someone who loves them then it is worth it.  If we can introduce them to a God who will never leave them or forsake them - definitely worth it.

As for being inadequate....  I am entirely inadequate.
No doubt about that. 
But God, in His Sovereignty, He makes up for the simple bumbling of this human.  He is entirely adequate. This parenting job is far more difficult than anything I could cope with on my own.  The things we are dealing with are simply heartbreaking.  I am so thankful that when my strength is used up, when I want to fall into a heap, that God is there to carry me through.


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