“Well, we finally got the official word. She isn’t going home.” Our beloved case workers’ voice trying to be upbeat while delivering a message we all knew was coming, but doesn’t hurt any less.
“Home” is such a relative term for foster kiddos. For some, it means anywhere they are with their bio parents. For some it is a particular house or apartment or shelter. For some it is mom’s car. For some it is grandparents’ house. For some it is the foster family they have been with for the past few years. For our kiddo, home is a tough one. She is legally free; her parents gave up their rights to be her parents long ago (as in many years ago). She has been in state care for 7 years. Can you imagine that? She hasn’t known where her home is for SEVEN YEARS. That is way more than the majority of her life. I sure can’t imagine that. But despite her life time in foster care proving she doesn’t have a home, she has been able to identify with her “parents” (the foster parents she’s been with for a couple years) as home. Then she was removed from that home. Then those “parents” moved to a new house in a new city. She’s never been to that “home” and now, she never will.
Grieving is an understatement. I hurt for her. I ache for her. I cry for her. She is smart, she knows this decision was coming. But the finality of it will hurt. The place, or rather the people, she knows as home are officially no longer home. She gets forced back into the waiting game, then wondering game, the “will anyone accept me forever” game. And I grieve for this little life. This life that has known nothing but foster care. This life that is SO resilient yet so, so fragile. This life that just wants to be accepted… forever. This life that deserves the best. This life that needs someone to come around her and tell her they are in it for the long haul, that they won’t be calling up DHS to have her leave their home when things get tough. This little life needs this and so much more.
So we will continue to provide as much of that as we can while we get to have her. We will help teach her what a family is. We will love her help with setting up our home together. We will accept her for who she is. We will grieve with her when we go on that walk with her caseworker tomorrow afternoon that will change her life forever. We will be here for her when she needs to cry about it. We will try to answer her questions as best as we can. Because we care. Because she deserves it and SO much more. Because we are committed to this. And Lord, you’d better hold our hand through this… You’re the one who got us into this after all.