We weren’t on the call list. We were enjoying being an inactive foster home after our first adoption. No paperwork, travel approvals, visits, or court hearings. The easy life. Then one afternoon a friend texts, “Are you still up to date on training and able to take a placement?” There was a one-year old boy who needed a safe home that night. I called my husband at work and he said, “The only reason we have to say no is that it doesn’t fit our timeline. But this is why we’re a foster home—to help kids in need.”
We said “yes” and a precious and severely neglected little boy was dropped off at our house a few hours later. He had been dealt a rough hand in life, born to meth addicts and dealers. He didn’t speak or respond to his own name. At meals, he ate until he threw up. At bedtime, he had tantrums that lasted as long as three hours. But we gave him love, nurture, structure, and felt safety. We immediately sought out numerous professionals and started therapy. Over six months, he made a lot of improvement.
We started to see glimpses of “the real boy”, the one he would have been without all the trauma. Healing was hard fought and usually two steps forward and one step back, but healing was happening before our very eyes.
After 6 months in our home, he was moved to a relative’s home for adoption. Since we were involved in the legal case, this wasn’t a surprise ending, however the grief was surprisingly heavy. We loved this boy and had been through so much with him. Looking back over two years later, I can honestly say it was worth it. My husband and I joke that having a placement we weren’t able to adopt made us legitimate foster parents. We’ve had two placements we were able to adopt and two more that resulted in reunification with the biological family.
We will continue to foster because it is worth it.
What we can provide traumatized children is so much more important than if we can keep them forever. We have the opportunity to show them God’s unconditional love and to teach them foundational truths—that their lives have inherent value and that they are worthy of being taken care of. And these lessons go with them, no matter where they end up.