Being a foster parent gives you an different perspective on time. You live a very temporary existence. You often times have no idea when children will be coming or going. You don't plan birthday parties or vacations in advance, you don't finish your Christmas shopping early. You don't fill out baby books because a bunch half filled out baby books are depressing. You carry on family traditions with a completely different family every holiday, so they don't so much feel like traditions. When we were was driving to Christmas Eve service this year I thought I did this with a completely different family last year (except for Matt) and I will do it again with a completely different family next year (except Matt and Isaiah). Your life is very temporary and abrupt. Rooms must be able to transition from age to age or from one gender to another. You have a just add water family. In the last year and a half I went from zero children to two back to zero back to two then up to three and now it looks like we will be back down to one very soon. You live in the temporal from court date to court date to mediation never knowing when you will get the call that they will be going home or to kin. You parent in spurts only seeing some of the harvest of the seeds you have sown. If you have had a placement for awhile the people in your life (who mostly exist in the permanent) forget that your family exists in the temporal. They are shocked when nine months later you announce that your (foster) kids will be going home. They ask "Why now?" they are confused and even outraged. And sometimes you may feel that way too. But you remind yourself that you don't live where they do, you live in the temporal. This has become even more obvious to me recently. I have an adoptive placement a little piece of permanent in my temporal world. But I am having a hard time adjusting. I have not been keeping a baby book. Some one asked me if I was going to through a big birthday part on his 1st birthday my first thought was "If he is still here". All of this can be super frustrating and confusing but thankfully as a believer there is another kind of time that is of the utmost importance the eternal . In those moments where you feel like you are spinning your wheels in a broken system you can rest in the fact that your work does have eternal value.
Hebrews 6:10 (New International Version, ©2010)
10 God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.