As foster parents we are asked to take a perfect stranger into our home, love him or her as if they were our own child, and then give them back. After that we are to brush ourselves off and decide to do it all again.
In our 4 1/2 yrs of fostering we have had a whopping 5 (including Squishy) placements. LOL! The first one never left, Choo Choo was our second and we all know how that ended. 3 and 4 were very short term and their goodbyes were not heart-wrenching (2 wks and 5wks). Of course Squishy just got here. So.....that leaves Choo Choo as our one and only heart-wrenching goodbye so far. Many others have been in this situation over and over and over and I commend you!
This being our first experience means a new perspective. I've felt several times over the past 6+ weeks like a birthparent. Of course the situation and circumstances of why the child was taken from me are very different, but the pain is probably very similar. We raised Choo Choo from the time he was 3 days old to 3 yrs old. We were his parents in every way possible except that all important piece of paper.
I have a new approach to birthparents because I know what if feels like to literally ache for your child. I know what it feels like to wonder what they are doing every single second of the day. Are they sad? Do they miss me? I was happy when the CPI called about Squishy's first visit today. I will be sure to communicate as much as possible ( and is appropriate!) I will send lots of pictures each visit to let them know their child is thriving and doing well. I will honor them on special days like Mother's Day and Father's Day. No matter the situation, that parent will always be the one who created them and even though many bioparents can't take care of their children, they almost always love them. I honor ALL my children's birthparents on Mother's/Father's Day.
I also have a new appreciation for my first two children who came to us through bio-parents (not foster care related) who made the ultimate sacrifice for their child. This has always amazed me, but now that we have made a similar sacrifice and paid a hefty (emotional) cost, I stand in awe of them even more.
I am happy to say that Choo Choo's Aunt sends me pictures and they even honored me on my birthday by having Choo Choo make me an AMAZING birthday card that I will cherish forever! I get to see Choo Choo one week from tomorrow!!!! My mind is racing as I think about how he will react to seeing us, especially with a new little one in tow! Although the visit is a week before Mother's Day I am pretending it's Mother's Day because ALL my children will be together :)