We have had yet another "loss" this year already, but I think that for our family, this one will be for the best. After a ton of prayer by ourselves and close friends, and a lot of my talking with my husband, kids, and the same friends who were praying with us, we have decided that taking guardianship of our foster daughter, whom we've had living with us for 9 months this time, was not in the best interest of our family as a whole. There are a myraid of reasons for this not including all the yelling, screaming and tantrums she threw on a daily basis (and believe it or not she is almost 13!), so suffice it to say, we called and requested that she be moved ASAP. She left this week.
We have also made another decision which we also believe is for the best, and that is for us to not renew our foster care license this coming May. Over the last almost 6 years now, we have had close to 60 different children come through our home, between respite/foster care and adoption all three. We have had boys and girls, and from a set of premature baby twin girls to teens of age 18. We have had some great experiences, and some that have taken their tole on our family in different ways. We have met many people in many walks of life. We have what we call our "success stories." They are families whose children we had in our lives, and whom have worked long and hard to get the lives back 0n track, and whom we are truly proud of! They have gotten their children back and grown to to be friends with us. We are blessed to still be part of their lives, and many that we talk to or see each week of our lives still today. There are some things about foster care that we will miss though...the children themselves, yes. Each child has had some good qualities, but all came with issues or needs that were time-consuming, stressful, or hard to deal with at times, and each one posed new challenges compared to the previous ones. All the little ones, for the most part, were very easy to love. They were more work in one way, but less in other ways. They brought us much laughter and joy! The older kids offered different issues to deal with, but were still work all the same. Again, we had good times and bad ones with each one.
We have traced back though through the years when it seems to us that our lives began to drastically change in the ways we were raising our children. With our first four oldest children, we were much more strick, less tolerant and put up with no guff at all. They had stingent chores each day, had stringent school times every day, play times every day, etc. We are now much less strict and less tolerant than what we have been with our younger kids. After much thought and prayer, I believe this is because of more worldly influences that we brought in to our home through foster care. We believe wholeheartedly that we went into foster care/adoption with the right goals in mind, and the right heart for children in need. We still have a TON of love to give. But somewhere down the line, we feel that the foster children because so much more work and time consuming for us, that it took away from our immediate family and biological children. That wasn't who we planned it to be, it is just something that happened ever so slightly little by little over time. When our son, Samuel, died 7 weeks ago, it made a huge change in me. A change I could not see coming, nor even thought of. I didn't plan to change anything. It is all just kind of happening. First, I will always have a hole in my heart where Samuel is. I still miss him so much! But then other things started changing too. I have less tolerance with the poeple in my life who were/are manipulative of me and my time, who enjoy cutting my family down for one reason or another (usually with things that are no where near the truth if they would just seek the Lord to find out for themselves), and expecting me to play into all these"games" with them. It is time to say ENOUGH! I don't know why this has all been part of my change in my life, but I think it was a change that God has planned for me/us for some time now. Maybe Samuel's birth, and death, were just a preempt of what was to be? I don't know? But I do know that life is too short and those things that you have allowing into your life, can be changed if you let God do it with you. So, yes, this is a year of losses so far. BUT, it is also a year of changes and bring back my family (our own 9 biological children) into the fold where they need to be, and should be, with us. Back to our LORD. We have three grandchildren to love, and so far our 9 biological children of our own. So maybe a change for the good? I pray so!!!