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How to Say Goodbye?

Today feels heavy.

Unfortunately, more heavy days are ahead.

A day we knew was coming, yet felt so far away! However, here we are, and fully prepared for what's ahead, yet still feeling broken. A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog on 'The Beauty in Foster Care'! If you missed that blog post, here it is!

While hoping and praying I can always convey the beauty in foster care, I cannot write about the 'beauty' without writing about the 'broken' as well. And while there is brokenness in foster care, there is also beauty in spite of it.  I pray you can see past the brokenness of this situation in order to see the good, because sometimes the two collide and that's so important to know and understand.

I feel heavy today.  And somehow I also feel joy. Those two feelings have co-existed so many times within the last several years of my life. It's hard to understand and explain but true.

Wednesday is a big court date for our foster son who we have had in our home for almost 2 full years.

My heart literally breaks in two when I think about saying goodbye to him. He feels like ours, even though he isn't. For the past 21 months we have loved him like our own, spent holidays with him, celebrated birthdays with him, laughed with him and taken care of him! I can't really imagine him not being in our home at this point.  Knowing the large chance that we will say goodbye on Wednesday or one day very soon is the heaviness I am feeling right now and a heaviness that I know will remain for some time.

 The social workers and guardian ad litems have prepared us the best they can. And while there is true joy in my heart for this reunification that is about to take place, there is also EXTREME sadness. Our lives will be completely different without this sweet boy in it. My kid's lives will be completely different.

Yet, in spite of all of that, I trust God is good. I trust He is with me always, just like he is with our sweet boy. I also trust that His timing is perfect and while I wish I could keep every single child that steps into our home, I know that is not the plan or the goal. I know that if God sees best for this sweet boy to leave our home, it means God has another that needs to step foot into our home. While it would be easy to let this heartbreak take over and even stop us from taking in anymore children, I know this is not the end. It can't be the end.

Fear of heartbreak is one of the biggest reasons people don't step into foster care. While I am heartbroken and sad.... each heartbreak makes me stronger and more prepared for the next! And there will be a next... not just for me, but for you too! Whether you are involved in foster care or not, brokenness is everywhere! I know this life is not meant for me to sit around and feel happy all the time! Life is meant for growth and that growth is happening during hurts, struggles and brokenness.

So, how do I say goodbye to a little boy that feels like my son? How do I say goodbye to a precious child I have held in my arms for almost 2 years? How do I say goodbye to a child that I love so much?

The only way I know how to say goodbye is by leaning into God's Word. And please hear me when I say this. Often times the last thing I want to do is lean into God's Word. Sometimes I am angry, frustrated, sad and bitter. But, I know I can't stay in that! I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and not live as though hurts don't happen and don't still sting every single time I think about them.  BUT, I believe that God is good. And I believe He has good for me and for my sweet foster son. I truly believe that! And there is joy IN THAT!

I believe that there is more good coming for all of us. It won't always be heartache and struggle and brokenness. I hold onto that!

So, to my sweet sweet L**** Bear,

I will pray for you always.

I will pray that "The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace (Numbers 6: 24-26).

I pray that you will "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to him and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).

I pray you would "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6)

I pray that you will always know that "if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you." (Matthew 6: 30)

I pray that you will always "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." (Proverbs 4: 25)

I pray you would "not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you." (Deuteronomy 31:8)

I pray as you grow up that you would "Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked." (Proverbs 4: 25-27)

I pray you would know that "We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

I pray you would know always how very much you are LOVED! By us, by your biological family but mostly by a perfect and holy God. I'll never forget your smile, your laugh, the sound of your voice, your temper tantrums, your love for water and sand, your long eyelashes and big brown eyes! The past 2 years have been some of the hardest and best 2 years of our lives and I would never trade a single second because if I did, it would mean I wouldn't have gotten to love you.

And to the ones who are just reading this. I pray that you would believe that God has good for you. Maybe you are reading these blogs because you know us, or maybe someone referred you here, or maybe you feel like God is pointing you and guiding you towards foster care and you are just searching. Let me say this. God is good! Whatever He is calling you to will lead to your good if you simply obey. Will it hurt? Maybe. Will it be hard? Probably. Will it grow you and stretch you? Most definitely. But isn't that what life is all about!

To all the foster children in this world, maybe you are reading this and at times have felt lonely or insignificant. These words are for you too! You are not alone and you are not insignificant. You are not unlovable. You are worthy, valued and dearly loved in the eyes of the Lord and in my own eyes!

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