March 7th, 2011
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626004_hand“Is it worth it?” she asks.
Sleepless nights, endless to do list, judgment from people who have no right,
Loss of time with friends, husband, children…self.
Lack of money as you add another to the table and in line at the amusement park.
“Tell me please, I have only just begun. Is it worth all this? Do you help anyone?”

The question weighs on me
“Sure it is,” is what I want to quickly reply.
You are helping a loss soul, a child who has no one.
The need for parents like you is immense.

The answer stills on my tongue as I pause to respond.

Looking back over the years I had to consider, is it really worth it?
Interacting with parents who rarely appreciate your commitment to their child.
The idea that somehow drugs, violence, neglect are not to blame for you stealing their children.

Demands insisted upon seem silly when compared to reasons the children were removed.
You become the enemy, an easy target for resentment and hate.
The “system” can also be difficult to work with at times.
Caseworkers who can’t be bothered to return calls to you, a simple babysitter.
Judges who make decisions endangering the children you love.
Always living in a glass house, where every mistake is discussed around a table as a “team”.
Being told help, but don’t interfere. Love, but not too much.

Then I think of the children,
all of the little ones who could finally stop being mom to their younger siblings and just be a kid.
The sweet angels continually crying as they go through withdrawals.
Each of them who marveled at the amount of food in the cupboards,
The meaning of full, taking a long time to understand.

Christmas gifts that get to stay,
spilling milk, waiting for the blow that never comes,
new clothes, a bed of their own, and a room to keep it all in.
Birthday cakes, full belly, homework, parks, rules, bedtime stories, traditions.
Regardless of age, these are some the first experienced in my home.

My mind then wanders to earlier in the day when one of “my” kids burst through the door.
“Coming to play,” he says and I know this is true.
The reasons however, go deeper than that,
Opening our door again cause he is hunger, tired of the fighting, needs a getaway.
He comes because he knows…here is calm, peace, love.

Our family gives him the ability to visualize a different future for himself.
Knowing he has us in his corner, cheering him on, hoping, praying for his success,
Time spent with our family gave him something valuable, which can never be taken away.
The difference in his life and others who have passed through our house is real.
Making all other sacrifices seems insignificant, small, worthless.

“Yes” I reply

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2 Responses to “Is It Worth It?”

  1. amybb says:

    Wow, besides having our names in common, we also have a lot more in common. My husband and I are also foster parent. We have been doing this almost 2 years and have had 11 children. We have been blessed to adopt 2 of them. We have also been from one extreme to the next when it came to the biological parents. Whether it be the parents who absolutely loved us and appreciated everything we were doing for their child to the other parents that tried everything they could to hurt us (i.e. accussing me of abusing their child). We also get the comments from people that are so extremely different; one moment being told that we are angels and the next telling me that I am absolutely crazy. But you are right, how do you turn away from a child you know needs you!

  2. dich thuat cong chung…

    [...]Is It Worth It? — Foster Care[...]…

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