Friday, June 8, 2012

Better to have loved and lost....

than to never have loved at all. Do you believe this saying? I do. I always have. I mean, love is great, right? Is there a better feeling than to love and be loved? Lord willing, Matthew and I will grow really old together. But if the Lord wills to take him away from me, will I regret loving him? No way.

People ask me a lot about foster care. Many are interested in doing it themselves. Some are serious about it, others are cautious.

One of the main questions people ask is "Isn't it so hard to get attached and then have to let them go?"

Yes. You will get attached. And, yes, it will be hard to say goodbye. The other day I was driving in my car and something (I can't even remember what) triggered a memory of Isabelle. The next thing I knew, I was crying. I could not believe that a year after she left, here I was still grieving the "loss" of her. But it occurred to me "would I trade the 7 months I had with her just to avoid this random moment of sadness?" Of course not. Our lives aren't lived if they aren't full of memories so great that the loss of them brings us to tears.

And that's my nice answer. My not-so-sensitive answer, the one I reserved for my husband when he raised that same objection to becoming licensed, is...that's a self-centered perspective. Are we only going to help others when it is convenient or comfortable for us? No, we can't live that way. We are talking about kids who are being abused and neglected. Are we saying we would rather them stay in those situations than have to experience our feelings of grief? Or are we simply saying "someone else will do it"? I know not everyone is meant to be a foster parent. Some people have very excellent reasons they should not. I'm not attempting to guilt anyone into something they don't want to do. But I am encouraging people to not let fear paralyze them.

After Isabelle's placement, we told our agency that we wanted to take the summer off from fostering. They were happy to oblige. And Isabelle's social worker was very mindful of Elijah and his attachment to Isabelle. She ensured that her transition was done in a way that would provide appropriate closure for him. Unfortunately, not every social worker is that awesome but I mention it to say that there are things you can do to make the kids' moves as peaceful as possible. And if you have good social workers around you, they will be understanding of how sensitive of a time it is for your family.


Mom said...

Well said Nikki and I am so PROUD of you. I remember having a talk with Matt at the Children's Muesum and he said y'all were going to take in foster children and he was not sure he was ready to have his heart ripped out when the children left and you told him that was not a good excuse .I am so proud of all 3 of you and Izzie will always have a place in my heart too! I will always remember her saying Grammy can do my hair yes she can!:) after a few days of nobody but you being capable of doing it Can't wait to meet Michael.

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