As a foster parent, one of the lines I hear the most is, "I don't know how you do it. I could never give them back." I finally started replying, "I have no choice. I have to."
I think this applies to many trials in life that are difficult. When the judge says your baby is to return home, you have no choice. You have to pack their things, say goodbye and never see them again. Sometimes you are comforted by the fact that their biological family will take care of them, but many times you fear for their safety, or their lives.
So, if you ask me how I will let Bubbles go, I just have to. If you tell me not to get attached because she's leaving, I'll ask you how is that possible. You are going to bond with a baby you've cared for for several months and you can't "turn off" the feelings. I've heard people say, "It's not about you, it's about the kids." I watched to slap them sometimes, but they are right. You will lose your baby and everyone will question why your so upset...it wasn't YOUR baby. I tell L that every child that comes into my home is MY child until the courts say differently. I don't mean that I don't respect their parents rights, I mean that in my heart, they will be treated just like my own biological child.
I have no choice. How did I bury my beautiful baby girl? Simple...I had to. People think I am strong, but I am not. God strengthens me during these trials, because I know there was no way I would have survived Princess' lost without Him. I remember the footprints poem. Jesus is definately carrying me during this process with me kicking and screaming along the way.
I remember getting that dreaded call that's every parents' worst nightmare. The first was from L's work. I call L and find out she stopped breathing. Right then, in my gut I knew she would die. I could feel God's presence with me. It didn't stop the shock and tears, but He did keep me from being put into a straight jacket and hauled off to the looney bin. During my police escort ride to the second hospital, I knew it would be bad news when I arrived, but I kept hope and kept praying.
The flashbacks in my mind are awful. It's like I'm trying to remember and treasure every last moment she had.
How do I get through it? It's mostly because I know she's in a better place. She really was struggling and now she's in paradise. When her heart would beat sometimes, you could see the heart protruding from her chest. Her breathing was always fast. She was sick, but she was very loved the short time she had with us. She got to go home early. I think He just decided He didn't want her to have to go through anymore surgeries.
For those of you considering foster parenting and are afraid to because of fear of loss, please...I encourage you to do it anyway. It will be difficult, but God will give you the strength to move on and begin caring for other children who need you.
I will not say I can't let go...I have no choice.