November 28, 2012
The ringing of the telephone interrupts my day. Actually, the telephone often interrupts my day. It’s practically a requirement for being a foster parent. I never know exactly what to expect when I hear that familiar sound, so like Pavlov’s dog, my heart has been trained to give an inevitable little leap. I say a quick prayer, take a breath, and answer it.
This time, it is indeed a social worker calling, informing me that my current foster child will soon be leaving. The date has been confirmed for her to be admitted to a long-term care facility. I experience so many conflicting emotions in the next 30 seconds, that it’s almost impossible to describe them all.
November 21, 2012
The warm spring day began like any other normal day, or at least that’s how the little 1-year old saw it. She climbed out of bed and toddled down the hall in search of food and her mommy, though not necessarily in that order. She banged on some pots in the kitchen while her breakfast was being prepared, and she babbled happy sounds while munching on her banana. The world was ready for her to explore that day! The sweet child had no way of knowing that this would be the last “normal” day she would ever experience. In one moment, in one minute of careless neglect, her life would forever be changed.
The sun is setting in the sky, and the little girl finds herself at a party with her mother, a noisy gathering of people talking, laughing, and eating. Everyone is too busy enjoying the beautiful evening to pay much attention to the small child weaving in and out of their legs.
I wonder what that is? It looks like my bathtub at home, but a lot bigger and full of bubbles. Oh, and it’s warm too. Tee hee! Look at me splash!
Like toddlers everywhere, her innocence and over-confidence make a dangerous combination. As her chubby hands reach further out, her unsteady legs lose their balance, and before she even has a chance to cry out in surprise, her head is submerged and the warmth envelops her. Her lungs, desperate for air, find only water instead. She flails desperately for a minute or two, and then is still. That is the last memory she will ever have.
November 13, 2012
“Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” Matthew 6:8
I found myself in a terrible place I never expected to be. A dark, awful situation that filled my heart with terror and my eyes with tears that just wouldn’t stop. “Oh, God!” I pleaded, “Please, please make this not be real. Please let this all be a mistake!” How would I possibly endure this? I wasn’t even sure I could endure it. Then I looked into the tiny, beautiful face of the child on my lap, and knew that I didn’t have a choice. Somehow, in some unthinkable way, I would have to be strong. For her, I would need to press on.