To add a surprising twist to our lives, we just took in our first foster placement in almost 18 months. At 3 years old, she’s the oldest child we’ve care for yet. She’ll only be with us for a couple of weeks, tops, but I am thrilled to have her here (I’m not allowed to post any pictures of her, by the way). We’ll call her Little One (she’s TINY!).
All but one of our placements so far have been under 1 year old. Most of them old enough to recognize that they are not with their parents anymore, but not old enough to talk about it. Having a conversation with Little One this evening just about broke my heart. She and Ellie were sitting at the counter having a bedtime snack and we had this conversation:
Me: Okay, after our snack it’s time for bed.
Little One: Nu-uh…I’M not going to bed.
Me: Yep, it’s late. Time for bed.
Little One: (looking outside to see that it’s still light) Not for me.
Me: (thinking she’s just not used to going to bed when it’s light outside) Sorry, sweetie, it’s bedtime for all the kids.
Little One: (tears welling up in her eyes) No, I’m going back to my dad’s.
For the next few minutes I held her, with her arms wrapped tightly around my neck, as she cried. She told me repeatedly, “I don’t want to stay here.” Which I can absolutely understand. We talked about how scary it is to be in a new place, but she has to be with us for a little while and I’m so glad I got to meet her, etc. Eventually she got back down and finished her snack.
When the time came to read a bedtime story, she again broke down. But she let me hold her and we walked to the couch together. She, Ellie and I snuggled under a blanket, read a book and before it was over Little One was completely asleep on my lap.
I am remembering now the pull that got us into foster care in the first place. This overwhelming love I feel for our sweet Little One is not entirely my own. I am certain that our Heavenly Father is sending His love to her through me. He can’t be here to take care of her, to hold her and play with her and help her experience a healthy family for possibly the first time ever. But I can, and I am so glad He has guided our family down this path. It’s what we are meant to do.