I keep telling people I’m having like a thousand feels about the little ones leaving tomorrow.

Excited they have good family to live with. Many kids are in foster care because they have NO ONE, so it’s always refreshing to see loving relatives step up.

Sad that these kids aren’t mine. They are precious and sweet and adorable and smart and so so good. I would love to have them forever.

Relieved that I get a break from the daily grind and tedium of parenting toddlers. This caring for babies thing is HARD work and TIME-CONSUMING work and sometimes a girl just wants to drop something off at the post office without packing the car full of squirmy bodies and a closet’s-worth of belongings. Can I get an amen, mommas?

A little guilty for the aforementioned feeling of relief. A little worried this might disqualify me in the eyes of the cosmos from ever getting to care for a baby again. A little unsure if that feeling of oh-my-gosh-if-I-have-to-cut-another-cheese-stick-into-bite-sized-pieces-only-to-have-it-thrown-on-the-ground-I’m-going-to-turn-the-butter-knife-on-myself-and-gouge-out-my-own-eyeball is not as universal as I believe it is.

A little worried you’ll think the aforementioned fantasy of eyeball-gouging makes me a little too violent for foster care, in your personal opinion.

Already missing the things I’m going to lose when I say goodbye tomorrow. How I’m not going to see Baby Girl’s awesomely round tummy and squeeze her squishy thighs and cuddle with her and give her pigtails and buy her tiny shoes and listen to how she says words… Anna = Nana. Rod = Raaaaaaaaa. Book = boop. Done = tadaaaaaa. How I don’t get to be amazed at Little Boy’s athletic abilities or watch him grin with pride when he uses the toilet or how I don’t get to watch him learn at an astounding rate and how I don’t get to hear him sing along with me every night, “Jesus loves me, this I know…”

Sad for Bootsy that he doesn’t have a live-in playmate anymore except Rod and me, and I’m not great at driving hot wheels around the house.

Thankful that even though I’m not a great playmate, I get some more time with Bootsy as the only child. He’s a good one.

Really really REALLY bummed that I don’t get to watch these babies grow up. They are seriously so awesome. You can already tell. They’re going to make a couple of good full-grown humans and I hope I get to see through at least some teeny window as they grow.

Nervous about the level of sadness I might encounter when I come home to an emptier house in the weeks and months to come and the way it might depress me out of doing things I really care about doing. Worried maybe I’m confusing “in-shock” for peace.

Thankful that I do feel peace/shock. That this isn’t devastating. That God is showing me the greater good.

Bummed this didn’t end in adoption, so I never get to show you a picture of their adorable little mugs.

Proud of myself for getting everything packed into the car tonight so I don’t have to scramble in the morning.

Concerned for Bootsy who, a previous foster child himself, might be more vulnerable in this transition to grief and pain and loss that I can’t relate to.

Weirdly also concerned for Juno. Is she going to feel funky losing the two tiniest members of her pack? How do dogs work?

Whatever it’s called when you make lists and get all organized and put things in boxes with labels and you feel all responsible and adulty because you think you probably didn’t forget anything.

Concerned/worried/hopeful for these babies’ future. We are no longer officially “involved”. We no longer get a front row seat so that we can advocate for what we believe is their best life. We can pray.

Hoping I don’t forget to pray for them. Does that sound awful? It does. But you know…bein’ fuh-real.

Deeply grateful as I look back on the last 134 days and the ridiculous ways our community came around us. I can’t believe how loved we are.

So yeah. Those 19 feelings plus 981 more…at least.

Photo by Brian Wolfe(y)


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