foster care - a broken hallelujah

Monday, December 10, 2012

This morning, I had put him in a nice button-up plaid shirt and jeans, rolled up the sleeves ‘cause he’s stylin’, ya know. Carefully chosen the brown suede boots (even though I prefer his classic brown Stride Rites) because they were from his mama. She gave them to me weeks earlier because she was afraid he’d outgrow them before he moved home with her. Halfway to the visit, I got the call. The one that I usually get much closer to the visit location. No mom and dad. Again.

I sympathize. I do. I cannot imagine what it is like to have your children removed from your home, have to visit them in a strange place, only get to see them once a week, supervised with your very own children. I cannot imagine the agony of giving birth and leaving the hospital without your baby. I get that this is hard. I get that poverty creates barriers and ways of thinking that I don’t understand because I didn’t grow up in that culture. But sometimes we have to do.the.hard.thing. Just do it. Even if it’s painful. Even if it’s inconvenient. Even if you feel your heart is going to break in two, you do the hard thing. Because your kids didn’t do anything to deserve this.

I’m loving this little boy who knows that he belongs with me, but with just as much certainty as he knows his name, he knows he doesn’t belong to me. I cannot comprehend why you wouldn’t make every effort to be there for him. I would walk barefoot across broken glass if that was the only way to see my children, to hold them close, to tell them I love them, I’m working for them, I’m praying for the day we can be together again. I just don’t get it.

I’ve been prepping to say goodbye to this precious little boy. Praying that I would say goodbye because he gets to return to spend his life with the mama that he loves. Now I’m not sure. DJFS isn’t sure. I think it’s more likely he’ll go to the relative he’s started visits with, but once again, uncertainty looms large over our entire situation. This is the part I hate. We already told the kids he’s leaving. Last week, following our team meeting, it was sounding like it could be six more months. Today, I’m not certain if it’ll be six more months or six more weeks or six more days. All that I am sure of is that this little boy deserves an answer to the situation. He deserves to be with his baby sister. He deserves to be loved above all else, to be made a priority in someone’s life.

I picked up the little brown boots, discarded beside his car seat on the way home. I got him out of the car, hugged him tight, kissed his head, tears welling up yet again. Broken with this sweet boy and his unknown future, his absentee mama and daddy. Hallelujah for the work we do for the healing of his family. Broken with the bittersweet pain of loving him. Hallelujah for the redemption of teaching him to love us back. Broken with the expectation of hope, yet unfulfilled. Hallelujah because He who promised is faithful.


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