To say I was excited to get that first placement call would be a major understatement. It actually felt like it took forever waiting for over two months to have the phone ring. On January 15,, 2014 I received a phone call about a 9 year old boy who had been abused. There was little known about him except for the fact that he had ADHD. I picked him up from the Christmas Box House and then we spent the night trying to get to know each other. I fell instantly in love with my son.
Many people worried that I would get too attached because the main goal of foster care is reunification. People told me that I needed to “protect” my heart. The best advice I was given was by a former co-worker who told me that if my heart hurt when my child left to go back home then I had done my job right. That hit hard and so I have given my heart fully to each of my eight children.
I have seen so many “tender mercies” in my experiences as a foster parent. The first tender mercy I witnessed was in the house wear department of Target when he called me mom for the first time. It took everything inside of me not to start crying there as the spirit overwhelmed me as I felt the love of my Heavenly Father in that moment.
To make a very long story short, this placement proved to be more than my single mom self could handle. P ended up having not only ADHD but also Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD) and other issues related to the trauma he had been exposed to. After four months I made the very painful decision to let Payton go to a different home that was better trained to deal with his needs.
This decision did not come easily and the guilt I felt carried with me for over a year. What I finally came to the realization was that Payton was supposed to be with me, even if it was just for a short time. And that while allowing him to go was hard, it was the right decision for both of us. Sometimes love takes us breaking our heart to get us to where we need to be.