Heads or Tails Tuesdays: A Love Story

Heads or Tails Tuesdays

I’m a foster parent.  I meet new kids who have sadly been harmed by the circumstances that have placed them in foster care and grow to love them as their little personalities unfold and they become an integral and important part of our family.  We work through the damage that has been done to them and consciously work on bonding and attachment with them, since this is always an issue.  “Work” is not a random word chosen to describe this process.  The job we do is time-consuming and emotionally draining, with only occasional rewards.  Yet we become fierce advocates of these little ones, protective in ways we didn’t know were a part of us.  We speak of  “our kids” often and even after they leave they remain a part of our love story. As we hope we have helped to shape them, they have shaped us.

If you’ve ever read here before, you know of my eldest son, “my little man”, who has been with us since he came home from the hospital.  His life has been a difficult one, because of things done to him before he was born. He spent his first month of life, alone, in the NICU.  Each day since we brought him home from the hospital has been a day of learning and discovery, and our love for him is intense and enduring, tested frequently by the “challenges.”  I watch my two year old, now wearing size four clothing, and every day of my life I try and anticipate his new needs, how we can help him learn new things, and what will bring him joy today.  I’m not always successful, and I am often frustrated and exasperated.  He has taught me more about myself than any other experience in my life.  He is a very large part of our love story.

Fostering has taught me that love isn’t always shared or returned, but the emotions are still very real, very alive and very intense.  When fostering you take each small accomplishment as a giant reward — your emotional payback.  These help to keep you invested.  So that when the social workers call and say they have a newborn, under 5 pounds, will you please take him into your home and love him like your own until we can determine his future, you once again say yes.  Thus your love story continues.

A surprising thing happened this time.  We brought home a baby who was capable of bonding and attachment.  We had him so soon after birth, that he knows us as his only parents and attached immediately.  He melts when we pick him up.  He looks for us when he hears our voices.  He grins when he sees our faces.  At seven months of age, he has already begun to be hesitant around strangers, and in situations when he is forced to be with strangers (foster care, remember), he will look to us for reassurance.  He is unlike any of the other children we have had in our home so far, and we fell in love with him immediately.  This is  a love story with a difference.  We are now able to experience some of the rewards that other parents have felt.  He does not struggle to express his love for us and there is no frustration for him.  He is fat and happy.  He grins, coos and giggles.  He babbles at the dogs and cats and thinks that the Wonder Pets on tv are there for him.  He smiles his huge smile at my little man without prompting and shares his healing joy with our family.  We are all in love with him and last week were asked if circumstances allowed, would we keep him?  This is our love story. 

Please visit Heads or Tails Tuesdays to find other participants.

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~ by byrningbunny on February 10, 2009.

5 Responses to “Heads or Tails Tuesdays: A Love Story”

  1. That is a wonderful story. You are a bit of heaven on earth for those kids.

  2. This post almost had me in tears. My oldest grandson is in the care of a foster parent and my hope and prayer is that he is treated and loved as much as you have said here.

    It’s sad that we only ever hear about the yucky foster parents in the media, because the group of foster parents we know really have chosen to foster because of a concern for the kids and society. I hope and prayer that your grandson is in a good situation, as well. I hope that you have pursued visitation with him.

  3. The video shows for me. It’s Garth Brooks singing Ain’t Goin’ Down Til The Sun Comes Up. 🙂

  4. This is one of the best posts I have ever read. You are an angel to these children.

  5. An incredible story. I had 3 foster boys, brothers, for several years and it was an experience like no other.

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