When they LEAVE

I laid in bed about 3 a.m., fully awake, mind wandering.

What am I feeding children for breakfast?

Did I leave a load of laundry in the wash?

Is the garage door closed?

Y’all know, totally unnecessary questions that keep us Momma’s from falling asleep again.  And while most of these questions were pretty random and mind numbing, there came one that did it.  And by IT, I mean, made my heart hurt and my head flood with even more questions.

What happens when they leave?

For four months I’ve been my littles' “Momma.”  My family, their own.  They know us.  They know where their favorite snacks are kept, they know snuggling on the couch watching favorite movies, they know us!  They know love and happiness, safety and comfort.  They know sitting in the high chair means eating together, and bath time comes every night, followed with milk and a cozy bed.  They know that when they fall and cry, running to me with their splintered finger or scraped elbow for a kiss makes it all feel better.  They know us.

But what happens when they leave?

I packed up all the others, all forever good-byes to beautiful babies, and every time, it hurt.

Do I have the strength to do this again?

Will this hurt, even more than it did the last time?

How do I know that they won’t come back, even more broken than before?

Y’all….I don’t know.

I turned to Jesus, I pushed into Him hard that early morning as I laid panic stricken awake in bed desperately thinking.  I did not know what else to do, but pray, and in prayer, did I find my Jesus, the Jesus that carries me through each child we foster and in this super hard ministry. I am not in control of any of my little’s future or permanency.  But you know what? That’s not my job!  My job is the here and now.   My job is the snuggles and hugs, meal times and baths, loving and teaching and being the Momma they need, right now.  So I tamed my own anxiety and worry with the simple reasons of why we foster, which have nothing to do with me. 

So, what will happen when they leave?

I’ll cry.  My family will hurt.  We will pack away all of the traces of these littles' lives that once flooded my home, from toys that sing and light up, to blankies that casually laid on top of arm rests.  Most of their “stuff”, gets sent right along with them.  We want them to be happy, and this includes keeping what is theirs.  We will enjoy the quiet, the what feels like non-stop phone calls and emails and pop-up visits in home.   And when it’s time, when God heals another battle wound and nudges us to get back up, we will do it again.  One, two, maybe even three new lives will find their way into ours.  And we do it …ALL...OVER...AGAIN.

This is what happens when they leave.