Finding the line.

Finding the line.


Months ago, our youngest foster son’s case worker fought to have him removed from our home to a more structured environment, a residential facility. This seasoned social worker saw us struggling and was erring on the side of caution.

We erred on the side of hope.

We fought to keep him in our home. We took 18 hours of classes to elevate our license. We all but begged (actually we did beg) the team to allow Little D to stay in our home.

Amidst the heated (but respectful) discussion, his counselor came to our aid. Armed with statistics, she quantified how kids from trauma do best when they are connected to a loving adult. Like Little D was with us.

We walked out weak in the knees, but with a team willing for us to continue caring for our precious boy.

During our next session, this kind counselor named that we may not yet be to our limit, but we need to know what that is. Where our line is.

At the time I nodded in perfect agreement as if to say, “Of course. I’ll get right on that.”

But months later, I still have no idea. Where it is. Or frankly, how to go about finding it.

The only way I’ve ever known my line was by being so far past it that I was despondent.

I don’t want to do that again. I can’t do that again.

And yet so much of this is so foreign to me that it’s nearly impossible to predict how I will feel or respond. Trauma and anger and violence and hospitals and court hearings.

I grew up in a sweet household with one older sister who was rarely anything but kind to me. My biggest grievance being that she sometimes wanted to read rather than play with me.

Foster care isn’t just different. It’s incomparable to anything I’ve ever known.

How can I know my limit when I don’t know any of this?

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  1. Brande

    Bless you all….at least the “team” seems to try to work together. You are probably the first people that have been there for little D. Through our journey, I have found being consistent and very scheduled has helped us the most. Praying he sees the way!

  2. Pam

    I am not in your situation. I think, I’m not sure, but that many times in the past I was. I was raising a nonbiological grandson from 14 months up who was beyond control. On the autism spectrum. And beyond what I could handle as he punched and kicked and threw chairs at me five times his size. In the process, I lost my bio daughter who as a teen was devastated that I no longer had energy, time or attention to give her; I lost my business, I lost my home, and I eventually lost me. I was thinking about this just the other day, now 15 years later, and what scares me most is that I think I’d do it all again to arrive where I am now – reconciled with my daughter, my grandkids are MY kids loving me like we belonged together all along, in another home a state away that I’ve always dreamed of living, working on the novel I’ve always wanted to write. I guess in the end, we have to ask God just where are our limits, and then if we don’t listen, we pray He gives us His Strength and Love to find the other side. Sometimes, all we can do is take one baby step at a time forward.

    • Liz

      Wow, Pam. I’m grateful you can look back and despite the losses and pain, know you made the right choice. And I’m grateful that today there is reconciliation and love.

  3. Jenn

    Isn’t that the truth! I find myself constantly pushed to what I previously would have considered my limit only to rebound and find that it really wasn’t so bad. We don’t deal with behavioral issues but non-responsive case workers, death threats from bioparents, Medicaid problems and a number of other complications. But we have the sweetest little boy who loves us and I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

    • Liz

      Hard is hard. No matter what the issue. So grateful you have a sweet fella and that he has you. Rooting for you both!

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