Thursday, May 19, 2016

370 Days

When we met two little displaced girls in the dark on our front walkway last Spring, we were told to expect this to resolve in a few months. Last week marked one year since our oldest foster daughter, Bug, came to live in our home.
One year.
52 weeks.
365 bedtimes.

Unlike an anniversary to celebrate, May 13th brought mixed emotions. What do you do with a day that represents brokenness, removal and the reorientation of a little life? I chose to lay low and not say much, until bedtime when she brought it up.

As I was tucking her in, her abrupt words sliced through the fading evening light. "I've lived here a year now. I'm never going home, am I?"
Gulp.

A long conversation followed. It was full of love but devoid of promises or timelines because decisions about outcomes aren't mine to make--nor are they hers. This is where we live...running a race with no idea of the length or challenges remaining on the course. One day we will round a corner and spot a finish line, but until then we run--loving, stumbling and learning-- together.

This week I noticed another trend--second timing. Today is her second field day in our home and tomorrow is her second last day of school in our family. Again, this trend is bittersweet. We have a trove of memories together. There is depth to our relationship. But there is now a widening gulf in time between her old life and this one. What we initially viewed as a layover on her journey has extended to an ever-lengthening chapter.

She's even come to embrace that while I am not "real" Mommy, I am "right now" Mommy for however long God sees fit. I cannot imagine the past year of my life without Bug and her sisters in it. Our hearts and lives are forever changed.

And tomorrow we start our second Summer break.

4 comments:

Jeannie said...

As I read your words, I was struck that your greatest role in her life may not be the "now Mommy," although that is a huge one. Rather, it may be all of the truths and seeds of love and grace that you have sown into her that she will forever look back on throughout her life and reap the benefits of. Press on! You are doing eternal work. May God bless you and these precious girls!

Charbelle4 said...

Oh my goodness you just made so very real one of the things we talked about in MAPS class. The fact that this milestone, while you love them and are thankful they are in your life, is incredibly bittersweet. I have tears because this is the reality and they are so little and have to journey a path that is harder than I can ever imagine and yet part of the reason why I am preparing for the now Mommy role. When I have doubts God always places a post or something in front of me that reminds me exactly why I'm going to be becoming a part of the foster system. Thank you for sharing so beautifully.

Jennifer said...

I have been reading your blog and am walking in a season that you previously walked and was wondering if I may be able to talk to you a little more about it! I know you have FIVE little people needing your attention and probably not a lot of spare time so please don't feel obligated or any rush! I didn't see an e-mail for you so was wondering if you wouldn't mind sending me the best way to contact you (even just your e-mail address) to jenn13087@gmail.com THANK YOU :)

J & A said...

I just love that you are documenting (as you're able) this journey with them. A technical question (that I hope is not out of line): why have some of the siblings returned home but not all? Is this standard procedure? Praying for all of you.