Foster Care Literally Rips My Heart Into Shreds
I never understood what it meant to be a foster parent until I became one. It’s more than just being a safe place for a child; it’s parents who are broken, children suffering, and families shattering before your very eyes. It’s a dark and desperate world.
I sat in my car sipping on a Coke and enjoying a chicken sandwich from Arby’s while I waited in the parking lot for one of my girl’s visits with her biological parents.
Tears caught me off guard as they fell down my cheeks. I couldn’t help but think about the biological parents that were in visiting with a child who knows me as “momma.” These parents are humans. They have made some really bad choices but they have hearts and feelings and need redemption just like me.
They visit their child 90 minutes per week, and I have her 24/7. I know her favorite foods, her bedtime, her fears and favorites – and they don’t. I pick her up when she falls and soothe her when she cries. I read to her every night and sing her lullabies. I get all the sweet moments of watching her grow…..
But in this moment, as the visit ends, she reaches her little arms back toward them. I see the pain in their eyes of knowing they can’t take her home with them today – and my heart rips out for them and for her.
Her time with them is short, and as she gets back into the car with me, she still isn’t mine-she is theirs. I am left with the big emotions she feels-the extra tears, the tantrums, the holes to fill.
But it’s her little heart that is paying the ultimate price. And, my heart rips to pieces because in this foster care world, no one comes out unscathed, and ripped out hearts are everywhere.