Foster Dad 11: What Do You Do When You Loved And Lost?

About 7 weeks ago our county social worker warned us about losing our lil guy to the biological parents.  Then the social worker asked us if we would foster again.  She told us that we did such a good job that she wants to see us do this again.  Our initial response was not an outright yes.  We hesitated because of the heart-wrenching drama and the holes in the system we’ve seen.  Since that conversation we have been emotionally and mentally preparing ourselves to surrender this child that we have loved, nurtured and raised as our own.  No one could tell that he was not our child because we treated him like he was ours; and he needed to feel like he belonged to a family.  We haven’t lost our lil guy yet, but we’ve emotionally prepared ourselves for that loss.  We already cried, told him how much we’ll miss him and started the process of preparing for his transition, because once the judge or the Department gives the green light to return the child to the biological parent(s) it will take effect immediately (as in that day).  So we’ve been cherishing him, caring for him and saying our good-byes to him all at the same time.

But over the last several weeks, my wife and I have been talking about whether we would do this again.  Our foster social worker suggested we should join a support group.  I kiddingly said, “Just give us a rebound baby.”  My wife and I considered the future, what we’re up for and if we want to go through this drama again.  Our conclusion for the past few weeks was we would do this again.  My answer to the question “What do you do when you loved and lost?” is “Love again.”

I don’t know anyone who has not loved and lost.  The big question on the other side of that experience is will you and can you proceed from there to experience love and give love.  Many who get burned in one experience will fearfully avoid another experience or at least be very guarded about entering into it.  But I think one of the greatest strengths in life is to love and love again.  Yes, you may get burned.  But I think the risk also qualifies the genuineness of that love.  It’s because I have something to lose that makes my voluntary love for someone that much stronger and purer.  Love without cost is convenient and easy.  Loving and losing is not a regret of the past but a mark of your capacity to love.  Love then is not simply a reaction given to the object of your affections but it is a quality coming from within you.  1 Corinthians 13:7 says love always perseveres, that is it endures.  My wife and I will choose to endure in love.  To love and lose will be part of our story but it will not be our defeat, for to love again is our triumph.

So just two days ago, my wife calls our foster social worker to ask if we qualify to take in another foster baby while our current one is likely transitioning out of our care.  We were simply inquiring.  Then the matching social worker called us yesterday afternoon, saying there was a 10-day old infant needing a family.  His issues and needs were pretty much the same as our lil guy but his circumstances were much more severe and dire.  So we said, “Yes!”  We drove an hour and a half to the hospital with Lil Guy, where a good friend met us there with a new car seat she helped us purchase from Target, spent over two hours at the hospital to consult with the nurse and sign papers with the emergency social worker, and came home with a 5 lb little boy whom we have affectionately nicknamed, “Peanut.”  Call us crazy, but we chose to love again.

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9 responses to “Foster Dad 11: What Do You Do When You Loved And Lost?

  1. My husband and I have adopted 8 of the 26 kids we have had in our home the last 25 years. I have never heard it explained better than the way you just did, why we kept doing foster car when it hurt so bad when we had a child leave. Like you we could not love half way. I tried to protect my heart but that cost the child to much. They needed all my love. Thank you again for your words of wisdom.

  2. This is so exciting. You both are very inspirational & a blessing to our lives. Your words have hit home & I can see God’s love radiating from your actions.

  3. Congratulations to you and your Family! God sure works in mysterious ways if we simply take the time to “listen.” Just keep on loving! There is no greater feeling or reward! (And what wonderful friends you have to help you purchase a car seat and support your family)…..you are blessed in many, many ways! Praise God!

  4. You and Ellen are the most amazing people. The love you both have to offer to the unfortunate ‘little ones’ is the greatest of all. Little Peanut is another luck little one.

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