It’s that time of year. The one time of year that you feel bombarded with holiday festivities. Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all back to back in a row. Before one holiday has even come and gone the stores are already making way for the next. In the past, this was the time of year I looked forward to- spending time with family and friends, getting gifts for people, and heading out to holiday parties. But this year all of this was changed.
While I did have kiddo for Halloween, I knew that soon I’d be sending him home. Soon I’d have to tell him it was time to leave and that I couldn’t protect him anymore. I didn’t realize that “soon” would be the following week. Even though he was here and we spent the evening with family, in the back of my mind thoughts surged like electricity about the conversation and us parting ways. I really wasn’t up for another cry-fest…they were too hard. The last time I had said anything to kiddo about going home (in fact it wasn’t about going home; it was about a visit) he broke down hysterical and held onto me for dear life. Mind you kiddo is a 12 year old.
Fast forward to kiddo being gone and just celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. I felt numb. Well….I felt numb during those times I wasn’t sad…or angry………or choking back tears. What was I thankful for? What had felt like “my” family had just been torn from me. I wasn’t thankful- As I sat and thought about it, there wasn’t one thing I could think of that I was thankful for. I mean sure, we are all thankful for food and shelter- family and friends, but this was different. The loss I felt (feel) from kiddo was casting a shadow over everything else. Again, I get the whole idea of fostering. They are not YOURS. However, when a child has been removed 4 separate times and both his worker and lawyer start talking to you about guardianship, it’s hard not to imagine life any other way.
In a couple weeks it’ll be Christmas; by far one of my favorite holidays. As a Christian, it’s a day to celebrate the gift that only God could give to us. The logical part of my brain knows this and wants to feel joy. My heart, however, is still broken and I wonder if and when it’ll ever change. This whole experience has taken a major toll on me in so many ways. My heart hurts each day, I feel like I’m going through some depression, I don’t want to be around other people, and, worst of all, it has shaken my faith. I hate to even write that, but it’s my truth.
How do things like this happen? How do we as a society, in 2016, have such a broken system that a mother who has lost their child 4 times get them back. Not to add that the child said multiple times to multiple people that they did not want to go back; that they were scared of what would happen to them. How does this happen, but yet other parents are losing their children because their house is “unlivable”. I would stretch it enough to say that kiddo’s house was “unlivable”. It’s easy to pick out the scars on his body from the physical abuse he dealt with in his past, but who’s looking at the emotional scars caused by all this? Who’s watching to see if this home is truly safe and “livable”?
Right now I dread the seasons…the holidays. Each day that passes reminds me that, while I have family, my “family” is gone. I can’t call or text…not a Skype message. Nothing. It’s not like they just moved away and you’ll see them later. It truly is like a death in the family. My family. And, right now, I continue to be in mourning.