Tomorrow, Thomas and Joy are leaving. These are the kids I have fostered for the last 11 1/2 months. Also, today is my last day as a Special Education teacher - a job I have had in one form or another for the last - I dunno - 15 years.
I am feeling a lot of things right now, including, but not limited to: excitement, fear, sadness, regret, and loneliness. For the last month or so leading up to today, I have tried my damndest to hold it together. I have poured food on top these feelings, avoided talking about these things with the people that love me, plastered on a smile, and said things like: "It's what we signed up for" (referring to fostering, and T and J leaving), and "I'm really excited" (referring to leaving my job) and while those things are true, they are a mere fraction of a fraction of the truth.
The truth is: We did sign up for foster care; but we also have fallen madly in love with these kids. They are going back home and that is good, but it isn't entirely stable. I know the Lord has a plan, but it breaks my heart that I won't see them again after tomorrow. I will miss Thomas’ quirks and rigidity, and Joy’s sassiness.
The truth is: you pour blood, sweat, and tears into these kids, you pour love in. You provide stability; you spend yourself trying to undo everything that has been done. Then you send them off, hoping against hope, that it is enough. You pray that they remember love, that you have given enough to last. You dream about seeing them again, but pray they don't have to come back, because that means things never really got better.
The truth is: I am excited about staying at home with Isaiah, but I am also afraid. Afraid of how we are going to be financially. Afraid that I won't be a good stay-at-home mom. I love my job. I am good at my job. My job is safe, I know who I am with my job. Working with individuals with disabilities has defined so much of who I am for so long. I am also sad. I LOVE the people with whom I work. I have been with them every day, every week, for almost three years. I will miss laughing and working with them.
If you know me, you may not know any of this - you may think I am at peace and excited about this new season, this transition, and I am; but that is only a fraction of a fraction of what I am feeling. I am good at stuffing my feelings deep down inside. I avoid situations and people in front of whom I will fall apart. I skipped church on Sunday because I didn't want to be the girl sobbing in the second row. It took me 5 minutes to get out of the car at my LifeGroup (I even told Matt “I don't want to be here”) because I knew I would lose it - (and I did). All of this stuffing, and bearing down so hard, has resulted in a five pound weight gain and full-body hives. And guess what? I'm lonely. I don't want to do it alone, but I don't want to be vulnerable, and I don't want to be perceived as weak. So last night I got in the shower got on my hands and knees and cried body wrenching sobs over the drain. Cause if you try to hold it together it comes out anyways through hives, or snappy short temper or night mares, and if you just let it go and fall apart that's when Glory falls; in the shower covered in hives crying into the drain.