Today, my foster child left for a new placement. You see, my husband and I are Respite Foster Parents. This means that we have foster children come stay with us for up to two weeks while their Foster Parents are away or in emergency situations between placements. You might think that it is safe to have a child for less than two weeks, that way your heart does not get involved, right? Well, no. You fall in love with each child the moment that you meet that child. You can see the Imago Dei (the image of God) in each child. You are reminded why Christ died for all of us.
Some of the children have pain in their eyes from the hard lives they have already lived. Those seem the hardest of all to not wrap your arms around them the moment they come into your home. You just want to take away all of the pain. Yet, you have to give them space and allow them to feel comfortable with you. You have to take your cues from the child. The best you can do is show them all the love possible. I know that Jesus Christ has never left their side and never will. I know that he felt their suffering with them. I pray for them each day.
While the child is in my home, I try to make the child feel special and loved. Well, I do love them and they are special, so this is not a hard task. I try to give them a safe place to talk. I listen to them. I respect them. When they leave, I feel sad, and I pray they find their way to good homes and have much happiness.
Today, I feel sad. I am not a person who gets depressed, but a piece of my heart goes out with each foster child who leaves my home. A piece of my heart is missing today.