September 9, 2016

When Love Runs Out

I have so much love to give!  When people ask you why you became a foster parent, that might be your answer.  Because I have so much love to give!  As if somehow you have more love than anyone else.  As if, in some miraculous way, your heart is bigger than average.

It doesn’t take long for you to realize, however, that commenting on how much love you have is only half the answer.   Or maybe, if you’re truly honest, is not the right answer at all.  You understand now that what you really mean is, I became a foster parent because I thought I had so much love to give . . . and because I wanted a child to love me back. 

Is that so wrong?  To give and expect something in return?  To smile and be rewarded with a sweet grin in response?  To open your arms and feel little arms squeezing you back?

It’s not wrong, necessarily.  It’s human.  You were made to give and receive, to love and be loved.  To feel satisfaction from knowing that someone adores you as much as you adore him.

So what happens when it’s not reciprocal?  When you give and love and reach and smile and extend and offer, and you get nothing in return?  What happens when love runs out?