When Reunification is the Best Plan

Our photo wall.
There is a misconception that all men and women whose children are in foster care are horrible people. This is not true. Sometimes they are just lost and need some help. This was the story of the mom of a baby boy who came to our home late one night.

The call came around ten o'clock, and within thirty minutes from the phone ringing there was new baby in our home. He was precious and immediately adored by everyone. In a few days I was able to meet his mom. She was a young woman just beginning her adult life and in need of support. I have never seen someone work so hard to change their life. She joined a great program, never missed a visit, and really put in the work. I found myself caring as much about her as I did her young son. One year after he came to our home I was able to hand this little guy back to his mama. I hugged her and told her how proud I was of her. I also let her know I was around if she ever needed me.

There are children who have come through our home, and I don't know where they are or how their life has turned out. I have a photo gallery on one of the walls in my house. On it hangs a photo of every child I have loved who has left. I walk by their pictures and think of them and pray they are safe and happy. His photo is special because I still get to see him. We live in the same small town and our paths cross almost every day. I'm not sure what his mom has told him about who I am, but it doesn't matter. It is her story to tell, not mine. When she sees me there is always a smile, a warm hello, and often a hug. It fills my heart with such joy every time I see the two of them together. I was not meant to be his forever mama. My purpose was to be the safe place for him during a vulnerable time in his life, and an advocate for his reunification with the woman who loved him so deeply. When I see them I know I fulfilled my calling. I loved fiercely and completely...both of them.