Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I swear you hit me like a vision

"Oh, this is how it starts.  Lightning strikes the heart." - Colbie Caillat, Brighter than the Sun

This song was playing both times we went to pick up our foster babies.  You could call it a mere coincidence and a likely one at that, considering that our local college station plays the same 20 hit songs on a continual loop.  Or, you could be cheesy like me and let your eyes well up, because it's a sign.

Tater is a snuggler.  She sleeps so contentedly when held.  She is awake and alert for only a couple hours total each day, and she gazes at us peacefully with deep brown, jewel-like eyes.  She is finally starting to fit into some of her newborn clothes, although she still needs preemie diapers.  She cries quietly and rarely, but when she does, it's a sad, soulful cry (and not the angry hollers I'm used to).  She looks crazy small in the car seat, and strangers draw in their breath and squeal, "How teeny!" when they see her.  Her newborn coat looks like a giant hooded bathrobe on her, and the arms dangle loosely like Brobee's.  The Nugget's (doll) baby Dami was actually larger than Tater when she arrived, and now they are neck and neck.

There some books and classes that teach foster parents how to love reservedly, to make sure you hold some back, slice an invisible dividing line between "foster child" and "your own child".  While I understand why, I respectfully have to disagree.  Our job is to give without holding back, to be open and unreservedly in love with these children who need us, because they deserve it.  Maybe they won't say thank you.  Maybe they won't remember us.  Maybe they'll be gone to another home in a week, a month, a year.  But what we've gained out of our very limited experience far outweighs what we've given.  For as long as you need us, Tater, we are yours.

"But who am I to tell fate where it's supposed to go?"


  1. I totally agree with you! How do you love and hold back? It seems like an oxymoron. Love is all in!

  2. I'm with you - if you 'hold back', then isn't that defeating the purpose of fostering? To give that child the best home/life/family possible for the time that you have them? And, if Tater (or any) foster child becomes a permanent family member (which could be some time down the road), does it make sense to have a 2 yr old that's not 'truly connected' to anyone, because you were on reserve? I say love as much as you can, while you can. That love will stay with them, wherever they go, whether they know it or not, and shape who they become as an individual.