An Unexpected Turn

Foster Care & Family

A few weeks ago, I made an announcement that I’d be doing another LIVE Video series. I was excited to share my personal ideas and inspiration in conjunction to LE Woman topics. Within days of making that video, life has taken an unexpected turn.

We lost our newest member to our foster family. Honey Bear.

Words cannot express what I am feeling. I’m used to battling symptoms such as depression and anxiety just about half of each month. But, I haven’t felt “myself” since she left. I’m still trying to make sense of it all…

Initially, I had told Scott that I didn’t feel comfortable with fostering (and potentially adopting) an older child. I was apprehensive about dealing with the unknown. In spite of my 17 years in the Education Field, I didn’t feel the least bit qualified to “mother” a child with emotional scarring. But, as a Christian, my prayer had always been to be open to God’s will.

When we received the invitation to meet children who were “not yet adopted” Scott and I figured, why not? This isn’t traditionally what we signed up for. This was a “Match Event” that would basically help match resource parents with legally free children that were ready to be adopted. I should have known right from the get-go that just because a child is “ready” for adoption, that doesn’t mean it’s going to work out. But, we were relatively new to the foster-parent world.

Scott and I had an immediate connection with Honey Bear, at the Match Event. She definitely stood out to us. I figured if I prayed about it, God would close a door before we’d get too far.

The process took off in record speed.

A few months after that initial visit, we were spending every Saturday with Honey Bear. Not long after that, she was living with us. In my eyes, there were no closed doors. But, if I’m being honest, I never felt a full peace in my heart about it. There were flags that had come up after the three of us were preparing to be a  family. Perhaps you’ve been there before. It borders a legalistic obligation in which you’re doing something because you can’t say no or back down.

During the first few months of visits, Honey Bear showed NO signs of emotional pain. Not. A. Single. Sign.

However, a few weeks before she moved in, (during the weekend visit period) I received a phone call that was alarming. I spoke to a few people that were part of Honey Bear’s circle. Scott and I began to wonder if there was more information that we needed to know. After some digging, I did find out that there was a lot more to this child than we had observed.

Naturally, there was a great deal of pressure on Scott and me. We felt that it was too late to back out.

I will tell you now, that the day after Honey Bear moved in, I saw a different child. It was bizarre how quickly the transformation occurred. But, like any relationship in which there are some flags…there are also great moments of hope that keep you moving forward. Honey Bear loved Banana, our families, and Cooper. She started the school year off with flying colors. She got along with the neighbors’ kids. She adapted to our household in record time! I would say 80% of the time, she was a terrific child!

But, unfortunately, the other 20% was critical. It became very clear to me that Honey Bear was not ok. She needed so much more than we could offer. Unfortunately, her case worker and original DCP&P office was over two hours away. After she moved in with us, her local doctors closed her files. We had to start everything from scratch. The only supports put into place for us were newly elected therapists and doctors who knew NOTHING about this child.

During the last two weeks with us, Honey Bear’s behaviors and disposition made it clear on what we needed to do. I believe God was allowing these things to happen for a very good reason. It was the most difficult decision we had ever made.

The good news is that Honey Bear is back in her original area, ten minutes away from her Case Worker and team of professionals. I can’t give specifics on her new placement. But, I know that she is in good hands.

The bad news is that I am in this funk trying to wrap my head around this. Did I make a mistake from the beginning? Did I make a mistake in the end? Why would God have allowed it go so far, for it not to work out? 

I’m going to keep this short, and ask that you keep Honey Bear in your prayers. God knows who she is, and I believe He will continue to bless her future. And, if it’s not too much, please keep me in your prayers, as well. I’m not very good at dealing with these unexpected turns in our lives. But, since God doesn’t make mistakes, I have to trust that He is leading us down whichever path is best for us.

Thanks for reading. xo

EXTRA Ordinarily Yours


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