On Saying “Goodbye”

It’s the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do.

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I’ve heard experienced foster parents talk about the grieving period when a child who’s been in the home for a while is placed somewhere else or goes back to their family. I knew to expect it – the emptiness, the quiet – I thought I was ready for it. I wasn’t.

Nothing can prepare you for the emotions you’ll experience when the time comes to send your foster kiddo(s) somewhere else.
Suddenly things you’ve taken for granted in the past months – that song on the radio he always sang to in the car on the way to school, that simple phrase they always used, the empty beds that became theirs but were never really theirs in the first place – all things that you didn’t realize made you love them more every. single. day.
After our first foster children left, we avoided spending much time at home for about two weeks. It was eerily quiet and suddenly our four bedroom house seemed way too big for comfort.

Image result for saying goodbyeEventually I was able to take comfort in the knowledge that the kids were alive and well somewhere. That even though it felt like I had lost a child forever, the truth was I hadn’t. I could still see them if I wanted to. Knowing the pain I felt in my grieving period after saying goodbye, I don’t ever want to know what it feels like for a parent to actually¬†lose a child. I can’t even imagine the utter devastation. If I had been in that place, I probably would have decided to sell our house or do anything to avoid being reminded of that child.

Right after we said goodbye, a lot of people asked us if we’d do it again. Without hesitation both my husband and I said, “yes.”

Maybe we’re just crazy.