Yesterday, my online foster mommy BFF (aka. Mama Foster :-) wrote a post that definitely struck a nerve with me. It was about "The Comment." It's the one that foster parents by far hear the most, and the one that kind of makes me want to punch someone in the face.
That comment is usually followed by "Isn't it hard to give them up?" Seriously? You're seriously asking me that? What do you think?!? OF COURSE IT'S HARD, YOU TACTLESS WENCH!
To be clear, I have never struck anyone in my life, and I don't intend to start now. But that comment repeated over and over by the same person every. single. time you see them... I work with two of these women, and it's enough to make me want to smack them.
It does make me wonder what, exactly, they are trying to say. Are they saying that they would love my kids more than I do, so it's okay for me to give them back? Are they saying that I'm cold and unfeeling with a heart of steel, so it's easier for me than it would be for them? Are they saying that I must have some kind of superpower that enables me to hand over these children who I love like they're my own without a second thought? Why one earth would anyone say something like that?!?
Like Mama Foster said, "Obviously, fostering is not for everyone or right for everyone," and I whole-heartedly agree. The world of foster care is hard. It takes you on an emotional roller coaster that can be completely overwhelming at times. It took me years of praying about it and a lot of soul-searching to finally make the decision to put my heart on the line and go for it, and most people have legitimate reasons for not being able to handle it. But to those women who stop me in the hall on a regular basis and tell me how they could never foster because they just "love too much" and that they "couldn't let them go," I say to them...
"That's too bad."
Because while you sit back and tell me how impossible it would be to love these kids and let them go, I am loving these kids. And I will love them every day for the rest of my life.
Do I still break down and have myself a good, sobbing cry from time to time? Absolutely.
Do I wish I'd never put myself in a position to miss a child so much that I physically ache for them at times? Not a chance!
Because I can't imagine a life without ever having a little Monkey who called me "Mama," who danced to my horrific singing voice, and who smiled ear to ear every time he laid eyes on me. I can't imagine a life without ever having a Booger Bear who begged to sleep with me every night because "Mimi's bed" was so much better than his, who ran up to me at random times just to give me a hug, and who to this day still randomly tells me "I love you!" I can't imagine a life without the memories of all of my kids (even Itty Bitty who screamed almost non-stop for the few days that she was with me ;-). I can't imagine a life where I sat back and did nothing while someone else stepped up and cared for these kids that I've loved so much simply because I was afraid of getting hurt.
So the next time those women stop me in the hall and tell me how they won't risk loving these kids because they "love too much," I'll tell them... "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all."