I have been searching for the words to help people understand the devastating pain we are in but I come up short. Every piece of us has gone to the girls and the tiny bit that is left of us will go home with them. We will be a shell of a person. Empty. Hollowed out. Nothing left inside.
Foster care is tricky because there’s always that “maybe” they’ll stay with you, so you risk everything and go for it and it hurts like nothing that can ever adequately be described when it doesn’t work out. You need a thick skin and a soft heart. Talk about extreme vulnerability.
Foster parents are expected to be A+ parents while their biological parent(s) can get by with being a D parent. We are under the microscope constantly. There’s half a dozen people to have to check in with or notify when there’s a doctors appointment or you want to take them to Seattle for the day.
We become the bad guy, the ones that stole your kids from you, the ones that get a say over your kids life. We’re the ones “doing it for the money” or because we ourselves want to abuse children not our own. These are just some of the things we’ve heard. Couldn’t be further from the truth.
The truth is, we get no say in any of this. They plop those kids on our door with a bag of clothes, their trauma, and little to no further information from that point. What do you do? You look at them and love their little faces because that’s what they need. You give them a voice. You fight a battle you’re not prepared to fight. You empty yourself out and it is exhausting.
I realized tonight that I’d rather go through the heartbreak and rejection process that separated me and my dad than feel this pain. This shattering, devastating pain. The pain that says to me, “You can’t do this.” It’s true. I can’t. Yes, we will get through this because we have no choice but to, but as for owning any additional strength – that waved goodbye long ago.
My poor Mitch, he’s familiar with this pain. He has said it hurts like when his mom suddenly passed away. The tragedy in his eyes when he tells me that shifts my energy in such a way that it freezes my body from being able to fluidly hug him. I feel rigid and cold as I try to hold back my utter heartache for him. Inside, I’m crashing to my knees and drowning in an ocean of my own tears for him.
As much as I believe I simply cannot come back from this, there’s a microscopic twinge in the deepest, darkest corner of my broken heart that says that there’s a little nugget out there waiting for Mitch and I to be (his?) parents. If I quit after the girls go home, will I miss the chance to be the mom of the most incredible son ever? But what if I stick to my guns and realize that Mitch and I need a break to reprioritize our own lives. Those girls walked in the door and all traces of previous Mitch and Aubrey disappeared and we became unrecognizable people with a life we couldn’t have imagined.
I just don’t know. I really don’t. I’m so scared. Truly terrified for that quickly approaching date to come. The day their mom, who hates us, will gleefully have her family back together after almost 2 years. The day we heartbreakingly go from having a family to having nothing but a quiet house, toys that won’t be played with and smells of our sweet girls all around us, yet they will be nowhere to be seen, hugged, cuddled, and kissed. The day our spirits will be undeniably broken.