The hardest part about being a foster parent is not what most people think of. Sure, dealing with tantrums, bizarre behaviors left over from a abused or neglected former life, hearing horrible words shouted at you only because they are scared, frustrated, and scarred, sucks. But I can take that part of it. What kills me and eats me up inside is loving, healing, molding, and mending these children and then giving them back or giving them away to another family.
These children have become my babies. They have been part of my family for these last 5 months. They are my other children's siblings. They are our parents' other grandchildren. They are my sisters' other niece and nephew. How do they un-become mine? Is it pride that tells me that I am the best Mommy they will have - that I know them and can offer them the best life possible?
We aren't there yet, thank goodness, but it's coming. I know it's coming. And I am not looking forward to it.
And as if the dagger wasn't already sticking out of my chest, it twists at the toughest times. Last night the 3-year-old and I were doing her school project together. She was answering questions like "What's your favorite thing to do?" and "What is your favorite place?" We got to the question, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" She answers, "A mommy, like you." Oh, my heart can't take much more.