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A New Ship for Bee

newshipforbee

I wish I had written this blog post because it so perfectly illustrates the voyage of a foster parent: setting sail with hope despite the storm clouds ahead, being shaken to the core and finding hidden strength, forging unlikely partnerships, easing out of the storm, saying goodbye, and then steering straight back into the storm, empty-handed on the way back home. We’re at the point of saying goodbye—releasing our foster daughter onto a new ship. Go read this post because it says it better than I can say.

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.

We say goodbye to Baby Bee this morning. All of her clothes, toys, bottles, bibs, burp cloths, hats, coats, diapers and toiletries are packed into her suitcase, backpack, storage tub and random bags. Her family is waiting with eager anticipation to get their hands on “our” chubby little nine-month-old, to see how much she’s grown in the past month and to kiss all over her impossibly soft cheeks. Their tears of joy will mix with our tears of sadness, soaking into the same precious child.

There is an expression I’ve been hearing lately—I don’t know the source—that seems to be the only way to describe this mix of things stirred up by foster care: I’m feeling all of the feelings. While we’re sad that she’s leaving, we’re also happy for her and her family. We’re tired and relieved to have a break. We’re hopeful for the future. We’re frustrated that a perfectly capable relative was kept away from Bee for three months solely because of state lines. (Had the relatives been in the same state as Bee, she never would have entered foster care.) We’re thankful for the cooperation and friendship with her biological family. We’re satisfied with good case workers, attorneys, CASAs and judges who do their due diligence. We’re glad that we were able to be there for Bee when she needed a home, loving parents, advocates and a big sister. We’re ready for what’s next because what’s next is rest.

For the next 19 days, I will be saying “no” to any new placement calls. After that, the next chapter of our story begins.

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2 Responses to A New Ship for Bee

  1. ericadeuel says:

    I know those feelings! I’m so sorry. You were there when no one else was-and was greatly used as part of her story. We haven’t gotten a call in over two months :/ I wish we were used more! It’s hard to know we moved and changed our lives for this and aren’t bring used. It seems like where ever you are in the fostercare journey…there is always something hard. But we continue cause it’s worth it!!! Wear your sweats and hug your lil girl today!

  2. Jennifer Harper says:

    Such a sweet post. I stumbled upon you years ago because I was searching for chocolate cocker spaniels (Lucy’s twin, Bailey says hello, again) but got hooked on our shared love for mid-century modern furniture; then, more than any other blog, your fostering got me ready for our bio-baby and I still find it to be the most *true* baby blog that I’ve read.

    You’ve captured the ups and downs of so many lovely, innocent babies with absolute humbleness. I loathe blogs that speak of parenthood with pride and contempt for others’ choices. I love the *rare* posts of your mid-century home/furniture but I cherish the posts of your children (and Lucy!) like this one. Bee is in my prayers as she transitions

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