I’ve found that it’s a pretty universal feeling for most foster parents with forever children. You get the call for a new kiddo (or kiddos.) and you say yes. You feel excited, but then it starts.
What if this means that I won’t have as much time with my forever kids? What if they miss out on something because my attention is divided?
What if I miss this? This precious time. This precious age. Memories. What if it all dissolves in the chaos? I talked about this feeling a little bit here.
I’m not sure we’ll ever take a placement without having a little bit of this feeling. But the longer we foster, the more I think it’s just a little silly. A little off focus. A little fear driven – and I don’t want fear to lead.
When I look back over the last eight months that Bella has been with us, the last thing that comes to mind are the memories I may have missed out on by her joining our family.
It’s true, I’ve probably had a little less one on one time with Sylvia.
But I’ve gotten to watch a beautiful sisterhood develop between three girls that otherwise would have never been. Sylvia and Naomi will always, in their hearts, have a sister in Bella. And Bella will always have a home here.
The memories we have built these last eight months have been different than they would have been, to be sure. They may have been more calm. Maybe we would have had more time to go on outings. I could have kept my house a heck of a lot cleaner.
But I wouldn’t have gotten to watch my beautiful girls playing dress up, going grocery shopping, camping, to the movies, or whatever adventure they choose next.
I wouldn’t have gotten to watch them build forts with the pillow cushions or “read” each other books. I would have never been invited to a tea party hosted by two of the prettiest princesses I know.
Sylvia would not be building memories of pretend play, craft making, and snow ball fights with a sister who will always be a part of who she becomes.
To think that I would have somehow been better able to ‘soak up’ this time, this age, this season, without Bella here is something silly my mind has tricked me into.
These memories are beautiful.
They are no less special, no less precious, no less ingrained in my mind as the season of life when I watched my children grow.
If anything they are more. Full of even more life. Full of even more joy. Full of even more…..memories.
They are different memories, but they are not lesser memories.
These memories, as different as they may be compared to ‘normal life’, are a blessing, there is no doubt. A blessing to me. A blessing to Sylvie and Naomi. And, I pray, a blessing to Bella.
What we miss is not found here. What we miss is life, when we say no. When we decide that ‘normal’ must be the best way. Just look at what we miss.
It is only a reminder to me, that serving Jesus, following Him, is always best. For us. For our children. For our hearts. Thank you Lord for not allowing me to convince myself that life would be less because of what you call us to.