Choices

Bittersweet is an understatement.

Giving a child back to their mama more than 500 days after they arrived in your home feels impossible.

Every night, books are read, songs are sung, prayers are prayed, and we gently close this door saying, "Goodnight, _____. I love you."

Soon enough, the door will stay open. No more sweet goodnight kisses. No more giggles with silly songs, or dramatic expressions when stories take a surprising turn.

Like all foster parents, we have a choice.

A choice to keep fostering and to expand our hearts over and over again.

A choice to engage in a system that has bumps and bruises and brokenness in order to change the life of a child, and his or her future.

A choice to extend grace to birth parents, to DHS workers, to other foster families, to those around us who say "I could never..."

A choice to answer the call, and to say "yes" to the next sweet child who needs a safe haven.

A choice to replace comfortable routines with therapy appointments, assessments, lawyer visits and caseworker drop-ins.

A choice to love in extraordinary ways when it hurts, when it doesn't make sense, when it seems crazy.

A choice to pick hope, joy, peace, and patience instead of fear, anxiety, or anger.

Tonight we go to sleep grieving already over this child who will leave a deep void in our family, and in our home.

Yet, tomorrow we wake up with choices.

We choose to love with abandon. We choose grace instead of judgment. We choose hope instead of fear. We choose determination instead of despair. We choose to foster.

--Foster Mom in Oregon

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