Last night we said goodbye to our foster son and daughter after a little more than a year of them being in our family. What a ride it has been. At the beginning of the process, we said we wanted to do something hard and meaningful and something that would stretch us. Well, we found out that foster care = jackpot of hard things. Last night our babies slept in their new home with a new family after what we hope and pray will be their final move. So much to learn from them. They have been through and seen more than two little kids should ever have to experience, but they are brave and resilient.
I am feeling a little lost this morning without the total chaos of a house full of small children. Getting Lincoln ready and out the door for school was weirdly simple. I’m so bad at sitting still. I’m already trying to plot my next move in my head while everyone around me is saying, “Rest.” I’ll try my best to listen. Last year took a lot out of me, and I need to recover and be at my best for Mike and Lincoln. Foster care is messy and hard, but I feel like that’s the place we find Jesus. I don’t know right now if we’ll foster again. The system is a nightmare. The people we met were great, but the system we all have to work within….well, it’s discouraging and devoid of common sense to say the least. We were totally open to God’s direction at the beginning of this when we said yes to foster care, and now we’ll be open to His direction again as we figure out what our next step will be. I know that I don’t want to run away from the messy and broken. I want to be close to it, because that’s what Christians should be doing. I just don’t know what that looks like at this point, but for now, rest is on the agenda. I read something recently that said even Jesus followed a pattern of engage and retreat. After a period of ministry, he took time to recoup. If Jesus needed a break, surely it’s okay for me to need it as well.
I’ve been thinking of the things we learned and the ways we were stretched throughout the process. Thanking God that He helped us to be brave and do something that felt totally crazy and out of our comfort zone. The kids are no longer in our home, but our stories are intertwined, and we think that’s how it was meant to be. I was once again reminded of the importance of community. There are friends who babysat, brought meals, came to birthday parties, loved those kids like they were never leaving us, let me whine and complain when things were overwhelming, and gave us so many encouraging words when we wondered if our work even meant anything. I feel like my friends have taught me how to live out community in the way God designed for us, and it’s been beautiful and encouraging. I’ve dealt with so many emotions this week, and I’ve cried more than once, but through it all, I feel at peace. All we can do is try to follow our hearts and do the work we feel we are supposed to do at each step in life, and I know that we did that. For now, I’m planning to pause to focus on the two most important people I’ve been given. They sacrificed a lot last year by having my attention so divided. If momma’s stressed out and crazy, everyone is stressed out and crazy, right? When the time is right, I’m praying that God once again gives Mike and me the direction we are supposed to take and the courage to do hard things.