A lot of foster care is about loss. We've all experienced loss on various levels. There are little losses, big losses, and gigantic loss. Each one changes us, however slightly.
My life seems to be full of loss at the moment. There's the loss of familiarity as I start a new class online with a new teacher. There's a loss at work because one of the tellers was transferred to another branch and the manager who hired me there also transferred. Because of that there are a lot of changes and my job description has dramatically changed. There's the loss of being close to family that I've been feeling since we moved to NY. There's the loss of the little ones who held my heart for the eight weeks they stayed with us. They still hold my heart, but I can't hold them anymore.
As I mentioned before, each loss changes us. The unfamiliarity of a new class causes me to be extra attentive as I try to learn a new teacher's personality and preferences. The changes at work are causing me to re-evaluate whether or not I really want to stay at this job until I am done with my masters. The distance from my family makes me want to reach out to them more often. (Although I've miserably failed at this of late.) My empty arms make me ache in my soul and cry myself to sleep as I wonder if God plans for my arms to ever be filled longer than momentarily.
Thinking about all these losses, it would be easy to get down in the dumps and have a humongous pity party. But then my mind goes to the loss that each of our foster kiddos face when they come into care. They pretty much lose everything except their own self identity. Is it any wonder that they fight for control in so many little things when they have lost all control in most of the big things? I should say not! What constants do they have?? None.
Even with all the loss and changes in my life, I have constants. There is my husband who is so patient with me in my grouchy Eeyore-ness. There is our sweet poodle, Ninja, who sits with me as I sob about the pain I feel inside. There is my church family, supportive, sweet, loving, and praying. There is God's faithfulness to me. When I start to think about what I have instead of what I've lost, I realize just how blessed I am. It doesn't make the pain go away, but provides beautiful contrasting thoughts to sweeten my days and gladden my heart.
So I guess one of my challenges as I deal with the children God places in my care is to teach them to find the good things. Even at those moments of darkness, there are people who love them and who care. If I can teach them the joy that can be found in counting blessings, I will have made a difference in their lives.