Even though the DFACS case worker told us that she would be moving our foster daughters to a new foster home on Friday, plans changed. She called at 3:30 today and told me that they would need to be packed and she will pick them up to move by 5:30. The Department of Child and Family Services asks that when foster children move from one location to the next, their belongings be placed in no more than two large, black trash bags. After having built a relationship with these girls, it feels strange simply dropping their belongings into a large plastic sack that is typically only used to discard garbage. In the past, we have scraped together old suitcases and back packs to send with the children into the unpredictable future. Unfortunately, after having five children come and go, we simply ran out of suitcases. We can only hope that the lessons and memories they have acquired in our home will someday guide them in the right direction. That is perhaps the hardest part of fostering– the children are just gone one day, and you may not ever know if you have truly made a difference.
In nine months, we have had to say goodbye to now eight foster children. It never gets easier, although each situation is different. Our girls were supposed to be moving to another foster home- more strangers- in a different county. Fortunately, the case worker was able to find the girls’ biological aunt and uncle who were willing to take them into their home. The girls were so excited about the idea of living with family, it really made the “Goodbyes” a little less traumatizing. Their Aunt and Uncle only live about 20 miles away and said that they would love for us to remain a part of the girls’ lives, so we will be able to keep in close contact with them (which made the whole situation less traumatizing for me).
Last night, with the therapist, we did our best to answer all of the girls’ questions. Little Lovebug took it the hardest, stating that she is not going to move, she was going to live with me forever. I thought today would be even more difficult for her, however, she willingly got in the car with her sisters and is probably already in love with her new family- kissing their hands and foreheads, telling them they are “so cute.” 🙂 That’s our Little Lovebug. Today, “Middle” was the most affected. When the caseworker got to our home, she started to cry, and walked down the street. 😦 It was absolutely heartbreaking.
I made the girls a Life Book- a scrapbook of sorts that documents their life while they lived with us. In it, I included a bunch of self-addressed, stamped envelopes so they can write to us at any time. I also wrote the girls a letter (found below) that they were not allowed to read until they got to their new home. This gave Nicole comfort, and I promised that I would call and check on them tomorrow.
Thank you to everyone who offered us such great advice and provided us with so much support on our journey with these three girls. We love y’all.
Andrea and Ian