R and I have our sixth wedding anniversary next week, and it’s been a wild ride. Anniversaries of any kind are an invitation to look back on what you’ve been through. I was sitting and thinking to myself about all the kids we’ve had come through our crazy household in the past six years, and I realized something amazing.
R and I have actually made an impact.
I counted them all up, and in the time we’ve been fostering, we have encountered and loved on twenty beautiful kids. Six boys and fourteen girls, ranging in age from two to seventeen. Some of them we had for less than 24 hours, and some we had for months. Our beautiful A has been ours for 3 1/2 years now.
All of these kids have made an imprint on my heart in some way or another. I worry about the ones who were only mine for a season, and I miss many of them terribly. I worry about the future for all of them, when they are all so hurting and broken. For the majority of them, I don’t know at all if they will be able to make it. They are so fragile.
But looking back, I can see the impact we have had on their lives. ML is finally getting help for her severe mental and emotional issues. A is in training to be a nurse. H is in a stable situation where she has the structure she needs. A2 is passing all her high school classes and is clean from drugs. I believe that by loving on and caring for these kids, we have helped create something better for them.
Sometimes R gets down, and wonders if what we do is worth it. If it really matters. The way I see it, we can’t be everything to all the kids we meet. But we can give them hope of something better than they have experienced. If a kid has never known anything but fear and abuse, we get to show them that there is another way. We give them the option to break the cycle.
I’m proud of our family and what we’ve accomplished, because we’ve given twenty kids the knowledge of a new way to do things and the ability to choose a different life than the one they were given.