Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Ins and Outs of Foster Parenting

As of January Ben and I were officially recognized by the state of Georgia as foster parents. After several calls and then no children entering our home, we received a sibling group into our home at the beginning of March. They stayed for a month, then we received another sibling pair who stayed for a week. We have had three calls this week that were not right for our family, I prayerfully have to remember that not every child will work with out crazy schedule and there are some rules and regulations that we have to follow like sleeping arrangements so we can't accept two boys. Saying no is the hardest thing I have to do.
I titled this post the ins and outs of fostering because part of me feels like we have a revolving door and when the children come in so much is brought to our family. Then they leave and out goes a piece of our hearts. Each child has something to share with us and we pray we are sharing something with each child. I have learned so much these past few months I'm going to attempt to share a little here so that I remember as the weeks go on what the first few months were like.

"Tough love" isn't just a phrase it's an action that takes more of you then you realize, but leaves you with deep hope for what you are planting into the child who is receiving it.

Night time story time is so much more than I ever thought, it's decompression, it's security, it's routine, it's the same book over and over sometimes adding new words to help close the day.

Stopping to remember the good things about the day is important, making the child say them out loud is important, some children don't know how to focus on the good things, it is a learned skill, and one that sometimes needs relearned.

Little feet can fill big shoes and sometimes a 2 year old makes you realize there is a big life out there and you only have this moment.

The same 2 year old can show you that the tall skinny 15 year old has a heart buried underneath all that teenage angst and isn't immune to said 2 year old wrapping his arms around his neck and holding on. This was a moment I won't forget because the toddler had shown very few physical attachment moments up to that time, and choosing to show it to Beau surprised us all.

Sometimes 4 year old attitudes are bigger than you ever thought possible, but take pleasure in the small victories and know when to let go, control isn't real, life is real make it happy.

The feeling when they leave your care is one of emptiness and it's heavy and oppressing and brings you to your knees, right where God wants you.

When new children come you don't forget the old ones, the list just grows and your heart gets fuller.

It doesn't matter what that baby in your arms  look like when you are feeding them a bottle all you feel is that connection, of this is "the least of these" and Jesus is with you.

The unknown is scarier and bigger but God is greater and if you let Him He will take it all in His hands and only give you joy.

There has been a lot of difficult moments in this process moments when I wasn't sure we were supposed to keep going forward and I had intended to write about some of those, but then I started writing and I can only think of the good moments, the ones that will stay forever in my heart and the children that put them there that are forever in our prayers.

These children come with one basic need to be loved, however we have also learned that the extra things that come up can add up so I've started 31 again, every cent goes towards providing for our foster children. Right now we need some baby gates, not something I have used many times in my life but has become a necessity now. Starting tomorrow there is an outlet sale at 31 if you feel inclined please visit my facebook page and you will find a link there tomorrow for the sale.
https://www.facebook.com/bagsbybridget/ or

Thanks for stopping by, I hope to get better about blogging as life is moving fast.


Thomas Buffington said...

Thank you! I'm so proud of you and Ben for opening up your home and unselfishly giving of yourselves, your time, love and Christian efforts.
These children who are fortunate enough to spend time with you guys are surely going to remember the lessons learned in your home and draw on on these experiences in the future when needing to make a decision that they would otherwise have nothing to guide their actions.
God bless you, Ben and you family.

Uncle Thom

Italiabrowneyes said...

Beautifully written my friend. So happy for you that you are able to fulfill this dream and you continue to be the light of Christ. There is nothing easy about fostering, for you or the children. Thank you for sharing this journey with us your friends and family.
Love you and the fam <3