Monday, February 01, 2010

A Foster Family's Big Week

This is going to be a foster-care-focused week for the Bryan family. Tomorrow we have a “Staffing” and Thursday we go to court for a hearing on our boys’ case. We don’t really know what is going to happen nor how fast, but we know that there is a change coming soon.

Being a foster family is the hardest thing we have ever done. Being a foster family is the most rewarding thing we have ever done. Paradox, schmaradox – it’s called discipleship. If it was easier, would it be as rewarding? If it was less rewarding, would we still do it? Neither question is worth much.

When you can, you try to make a difference, even if it is hard to do.

We’re not doing it for laughs.

We have said goodbye to a lot of kids in the past four years, and every single one of them was like tearing off a piece of our selves. We have said hello to a lot of kids in the past four years, and every single one of them has called us “Mommy” and “Daddy.”

Will any of them remember us?

The thing that keeps getting me is the poopy diapers. I have changed more kids’ poopy diapers, more often, than any reasonable person should. (Full disclosure: Erin has changed exponentially more than I.) Kneeling on the bathroom floor, changing a foster kid’s poopy diaper while he screams and kicks my hands away … let’s just say that sometimes when I think “I don’t have to take this shit,” I mean it literally.

Wouldn’t it be awful if we fell in love with every single child that came through our home on their way to somewhere else? Wouldn’t it be awful if we didn’t? Oh, yes, we love them all, even still. We love them as we knew them; they never age for us. They are snapshots in our wallets, slices of our life. They are wispy memories of long car rides and playground afternoons and bedtime lullabies.

I see the moon, the moon sees me, the moon sees the one I want to see.

Some people say, “I would just love them too much to let them go.” As if us letting them go somehow demonstrates how much we do not love them. No, we let them go BECAUSE we love them; foster care isn’t about us, it’s about the kids. What’s best for the kids – only and all for the kids.

There will be something significant happening this week. Not many people in the world will notice. We will. If it’s best that they are with us, they will be. If it’s best that they go somewhere else, they will go. We know going in, every time, that they will not be with us forever. Their forever family is somebody else.

We’re just the foster family. And this is going to be a big week.


Carrie said...

Well said.
Praying for you guys this week. We had a day like that yesterday...and there will be more to come. I kept thinking how stupid Seth and I must be to keep doing this. Why would people do this to have their heart repeatedly ripped out....but then I realize that I cannot imagine NOT doing it.

ReBeCcA said...

WOW! as an advocate for children and families and as a minister in training this is SO inspiring. you guys are amazing! Its humbling to read! Good luck this week, Gods blessings on you and your entire family!!!

Amanda Atkins said...

Just so you know, this is now circulating the Boone CD office. Not a dry eye in the house. Thank you for understanding the job, and still wanting to do it. These kids' lives are better because of you.