Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Be My Guest: Won't it be hard to say goodbye?

Today's guest post was written by my friend Carly. Carly joins us today to talk about her experience as a foster parent. I hope you'll take some time to read what she's written and consider foster care as an option for you and your family. You could change someone's life.




Won't it be hard to say goodbye?

That is one of the first questions people asked when we said we were fostering. 

It IS hard to say goodbye. We've only done it once, so I'm no expert. It is a lot easier to say goodbye than to think about all of the kids out there that need someone to say yes. Children that need someone to look past the hurt saying goodbye would cause. 

I miss him. I miss him a lot. 

It has been three months since I last saw Alex. I can't see a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle item and not have his smile pop into my mind. I am not sure if I will ever get to see him again. It hurts. 

I have three beautiful kids that call me mom. I have a husband. My kids have someone they call a brother or sister, they have their needs and many of their wants met every day. They know that when they wake up we will be there. They know they will get breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack and maybe even dessert. They will go to school, have a house to come home to, a warm bed. The night Alex came and the night he left I slept in my same comfortable bed that I had before and I will after. So did my husband and my kids. We have each other and that made it possible to get through the goodbye. 

Alex had everything taken from him. 

He woke up one morning not knowing who would take care of him and where he would live. For ten months we did that. He had the same bed, knew that he'd get fed every day (even if he didn't always believe it), knew he'd get taken to school and knew he had a family. 

Alex was my son for ten months. He was eleven when he walked in our door and twelve when he left. I didn't give birth to him. I didn't see his first smile, his first steps, didn't see him off to preschool for the first day or walk him into kindergarten. I wasn't there the first time he got hurt and needed a mom to hold him and tell him it was going to be okay. 

I was there the first time he picked out his own Halloween costume. I was there the first time he walked into 5th grade and I was there when he graduated. I was there when he ran his first 5K, there when he met Mickey, Minnie and Donald. I was there the first time he went down a water slide. I got to see his smile and joy enjoying every day activities. My husband coached his first basketball team. We were there the first time he gave a presentation at school. 

My girls still call his bedroom Alex's room, even though there is nothing left of his in that room. It took me three months to change the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle bedding from "his" bed. 

We still think of him a lot. 

We miss him. 

But in the end it was all worth it. I smile when I think of his smile. 

He walked into our lives with an uncertain smile and we hugged and he walked away with the same uncertain smile. We are better for knowing him. We are better for saying yes. 

Even though we knew it would be hard to say goodbye. 

Thank you, Carly, for sharing your story with my readers. I know saying goodbye was difficult, but your reminders of why saying yes with a hugely comforting hello are beautiful. Your words represent the hope that exists for so many children and families. Thank you.

6 comments:

Teresa Kindred said...

I have friends that have foster children and I volunteered on the foster care review board. There simply aren't enough parents like your friend Carly for all the kids who need them. Bless your friend and all those who care for foster children. But most of all, bless the thousands of children in foster care. Hugs to you and Carly for addressing this very important topic, Teresa from NanaHood

Rena McDaniel said...

I have a best friend who is a foster parent and it is an awesome job. Kudos to you for all of your hard work and determination.

Life Breath Present said...

Great post from your friend Carly. Foster parents love and kindness are sometimes what a child needs. Having worked with children in foster care, I know all too well what it means for all involved in saying goodbye to a child, hoping that you touched their life and knowing that they touched yours and will be with you forever. :)

CandCFamily said...

Thank you so much Andrea for helping me to tell our story. We have been so blessed by foster care, it brought us our two forever girls.

TheKimSix Fix said...

What a beautiful post Carly. You have such a wonderful heart, and any child is lucky to have you, even if it is only for a fleeting time.

Stephanie said...

Such an amazing piece, Carly. Amazing.

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