The Journey Of Fostering

It’s been a long time since I’ve shared about our journey as a foster family. As I was looking through my blog post drafts, I found a post I wrote ten months ago but never shared. We had fostered a beautiful little boy for almost a year. I wrote this post the night we found out he was going to be leaving us and going back to live with his mom. Not all fostering stories end begin the way ours did, but I’m so humbled and grateful that we had the chance to experience this side of foster care.


baby

Ten Months Earlier

Tonight, my heart is overflowing with emotion. We’re about two weeks away from our foster baby being reunited with his mom and my heart couldn’t be happier for them. His mom has become like a sister to me and has become part of our family. My heart will ache for a time and will need to get used to not seeing his bright and smiling face each morning and night, but my heart is overwhelmed by seeing the way the foster system was intended to be.

Our first foster experience was less than encouraging, and for those of you who know the story, you know why. We were left with gaping holes in our heart and emotional wounds from the way that situation unfolded. We thought we’d never foster again, but God had different plans.

After months went by, we decided to open our home again and in June of last year, a precious baby boy arrived. Over the last 9 months, he and his mom have brought more healing to our hearts than they could ever imagine. His mom welcomed us into her life and we welcomed her into ours. Instead of having two separate families working towards reunification, we became one family, supporting each other and sharing the ups and downs of life.

A few nights ago as I rocked him to sleep, I relived the last 9 months – remembering the summer night he arrived, the first time I met his mom and how quickly we clicked, the many moments shared with his mom and her family, and then to the most recent news. The word came tonight that he is officially being reunited with his mom. It’s such a bitter-sweet feeling, reader.

This journey showed me that this is how the foster system should work. It should encourage the biological parents and foster families to take each other by the hand and say, “We’re in this together.” It should be a support system and it should be two families becoming one as they work together.

For years, I’ve said I wanted to be a foster parent someday. And honestly, had our family’s journey ended with the two little girls we initially fostered, I don’t know that I would’ve fostered again once I had a family of my own. But walking this journey with my family, and seeing the beauty that comes from it, has been incredible.

The night he arrived, we rejoiced at the thought of having a foster baby in our home, not understanding how brokenhearted a mother was to say goodbye to her son. And tonight, we rejoice with her because what the devil meant for evil, God has turned to good. So much has changed in all of our lives in the last 9 months. She’s changed and so have we, and through the process, healing and restoration were birthed.

We don’t always see the full picture, but when we do, it’s often more beautiful than the one we could’ve ever imagined.

My heart is full tonight and I’m so grateful to have you along for this wildcrazyamazing ride.

Thanks reader.

Love,

~Manda

4 Responses
  • blessing boamah
    February 19, 2017

    That’s beautiful, how long have you guys been fostering? I know I would get emotionally attached quickly and it would be quite an adjustment to release the child back into the care of their parent.

    • Manda Joy
      February 21, 2017

      Hey babe! We’ve been fostering for two and a half years. It’s definitely very difficult to let the children go, but it’s also one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been a part of. It’s not easy, but it’s also so rewarding. If you check out some of my other “Fostering” posts, you’ll see some of the heartache, but also the reward of fostering. 🙂

  • Niharika
    March 22, 2017

    A lovely to post to read..it got tears in my eyes..

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