Dear Foster Mama {A Sunday Series of Letters from the Heart of One Foster Mama to Another}

You saw the looming clouds on the horizon as you stood on the shore, yet you still said, Yes.

They stood around you when you set sail with the first one who entered your home. 

Maybe the child was a newborn, screaming through the withdrawals.

Maybe he was a teen, running from the abuse that defined him behind locked doors.

Perhaps it was the fourth grader, who cried for her mama through the night again, and again, and again.

Whoever it was, you boarded without looking back, stepping into a partnership with the worker and her mama and daddy who climbed aboard with you, whether they wanted to or not. 

As you set sail, you heard the cries from those of your other world, shouting their support or disapproval from what you once knew as home…

Because home is now the ship that tosses your soul.

Onward you move, slowly but steadily, and with each passing moment the waves hit your side a little higher, slightly more rough.

In partnership you press forward through the nearing cloud, but the storm in your soul rises the further you travel from the home you once knew.

Slowly, together, you begin to spin, while lightening flashes and thunder looms. You hold the child tighter and tell her mama and daddy they will survive, that this is not the end of the story. Their eyes show terror, but their heads nod in trust.

And as quickly as it seemed to begin, it subsides. The darkness behind you; the waters once raging spitting you to the surface.

In front of you awaits a new ship, fresh with hope readied to empower your partners with a new chapter.

They surround you with hugs and thanks, and in a flash you and your forevers are left to steer that battered ship back into the raging storm of grief to begin again.

Your heart lurches in fear as your empty arms ache for the one to whom you gave your heart...

The son or daughter of your soul.

But Friend, do not run from the storm of grief.

That journey of grief is most surely part of your call, as much as the, Yes.

It is essential for your forever children, your spouse, for you.

Only through the grieving can you say, Yes, again.

You reach the shore to begin partnership anew, and back and forth you and your forevers follow the Father’s imprint on your heart to travel into the storm again, and again, and again…maybe five times, maybe twenty times, maybe fifty or 100.

Yet this story is not simply the amount of times into the storm, because for each treacherous journey into the blackness, you must make another return journey of grief. 

It is the cost of love, my Friend.

It is the only way continue in this calling.

It is how you will taste more deeply the One who grieved for you.

And when the ones from shore shake their heads upon your return and whisper,

You knew this would happen.

I told you so.

You gotta get over it.

It should be easier by now.

Smile, because only you have seen what’s beyond the storm.

Only you have stood with your forevers as you’ve seen new chapters of hope unfold.

Only you have been forced to whisper, Jesus, in the midst of the roaring ocean.

Smile, because your tears are beautiful.

They are the tears of the Spirit wrestling within you as you obey, and they mirror the weeping of the One who cried, It is finished, on your behalf so that you may be able to tell those you journey with, their story is not finished.

Oh my friend, your tears are beautiful.

And, I rise to bless you,