I thought of you today. I put my big kids on the bus, took Baby 9 to story time at the mall, and thought of writing a blog post. I could write about what radical grace looks like in foster care. Maybe I would write about Respite 13 who came last weekend as a behavior respite, but acted exactly like my toddlers, making me question my standards for my kids. I could write about loss. I would have written about loss.
I wanted to tell you that blessings don't cancel out loss. They are completely separate. I have the life I wanted since I was a child. I'm Mommy to the most awesome kids. I feel like I'm making a positive impact on the world around me. I am connected to the God who loves me and has never left me alone. All of that thankfulness and all of that bounty is with me all the time. So is my loss. My heart is tied to all these babies that I can't see grow up. I'm connected to their Mothers in a way that makes me wildy uncomfortable. It keeps me awake at night- the desperate need for them all to be safe wrestling against the reality that I'll never know if they are. I've lost the wide eyed way I viewed the world. I've lost. And no amount of happiness changes that fact.
I was going to tell you that. Right after an episode of The Fosters and folding some laundry, I was going to write that post.
But then the phone rang.
A swirl of cleaning and calls, and brushing my hair, and car seats, and shoving that unfolded laundry in my closet, and making my bed. I broke out an ice pack to try getting rid of my flushed cheeks before the caseworker came.
With Baby 10.
A beautiful, healthy, happy 4 month old girl. I don't know anything about her except that she's adorable. My only guarantee is that she'll be here until court on Thursday.
She's the littlest member of a sibling group that really needs to be placed together. The county would have to give me an exemption to the "2 under 2" rule for me to take them. I don't know if or why the other foster families involved couldn't take them. So we could reasonably be saying goodbye to her or hello to a new child this week. I'm inexplicably OK with either scenario.
At the end of today, I sit on my couch with my husband- who has a sleeping baby on his chest- and I feel all my losses and all my blessings at the very same time. It's overwhelming and kind of beautiful.
Foster care is a story that I'm willing to suffer for. I'm willing to do every single moment of it over again because today Baby 10 landed in a safe place where she is loved. Even if, at the end of this week, she's added to the list of babies I worry about and pray for fervently while I should be sleeping- it will be worth it.