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This Is What Happens In Foster Care

This Is What Happens In Foster Care

It took me awhile before I could walk past the dairy section of the grocery store without having flashbacks. In my memory, the song always came on right when I hit the yogurt, always the same song as if proving the use of piped in music or the predictability of my shopping habits or maybe both.

There it was–that song–playing as if to my ears only, and I looked at my darling baby and I would cry. Right there in front of the yogurt. I’d put on the sunglasses and it always helped to stick my nose in that sweet baby neck because nuzzles can hide tears and dispense genuine love all at the same time. Oh, this foster care journey. No one told me. No one could have prepared me for it.

I have died every day waiting for you

Darling, don’t be afraid I have loved you

For a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more


And all along I believed I would find you

Time has brought your heart to me

I have loved you for a thousand years

I’ll love you for a thousand more

(“A Thousand Years” Christina Perri)

That song. Was it written for me in that moment or would I have found symbolism in any old something? Honky tonk, concerto, liquid metal. I carried a lot of thoughts around in my head and heart those days. And when I heard that song, I looked around at the people in the store and thought, “Do you hear this? Do you see the pain radiating off me like the sun? You people do not even know that when this baby goes home, I will feel like my daughter has died.” I would see mothers walking around with little girls a few years older than mine. They took my breath away. I felt as if I was leaving a trail behind me in that neighborhood store—small shattered heart crumbs, revealing where I had come from so I’d hopefully be able to find my way home.

That’s heavy for the dairy aisle.

But I wondered sincerely how I was supposed to find my way home while on this adventure of foster care. You get training, but not for this.

There is no training on sacred suffering.

As soon as you say yes, you forfeit your right to ever see life the same way again. You cannot unsee the trauma and the stories and real life wounds. You cannot unfeel the bone marrow deep love you have for a child. And you cannot escape the real and true uncertainty of what will ever become of them. Or you for that matter. Everything changes.

But. . . .

(I’m posting over at the FaithBridge Foster Care Blog today. Click here to continue reading!)



  1. Alyce Ross says:

    I always love to read your writing, because you are honest and loving. Oh, to have a heart like yours. When I read your writing, I always wish we could sit down over a good cup of coffee and I could just visit with you.

  2. I’ve read this about 17 times and cried every time. We became foster parents a little over three years ago. I’ve never read anything that expressed my feelings so exactly. Thank you for being so honest and transparent. They are worth it.

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