I hesitate to say it out loud, let alone to write it. If I name it, surely I’ll jinx it. But we’ve ached for this for so long that I can’t not.
For the first time since fostering, we’re in a good place.
Big D’s smile comes out more than his frown. And his laugh more than his anger. Even his kindness over his complaints.
Together we’re finding our way. One that feels more like skipping than limping.
For the first time since becoming foster parents, we’re enjoying it.
Admitting we haven’t enjoyed it the past three years feels even scarier than acknowledging that we finally are.
After all, I’ve changed my whole world to foster and to keep fostering. Quitting jobs I loved and sacrificing trips I planned.
But it feels more wrong to pretend that I have enjoyed it. Because most of the day, most days, I haven’t.
There are undeniably beautiful, joyful moments in foster care. Moments I cling to. But they are often few and far between and in my own small experience, trauma drowns them out.
The stress of night terrors and angry slurs outweighing the tastes of laughter and delight.
I don’t do it for me. Rather, I do it to give me. Again and again.
Because 400,000 kids in America need safe homes.
So whether these sweet days with Big D sour or don’t, I plan to give him one.