I always say that Ryan is the one who had fostering in his blood, not me. But tonight I remembered a poem I loved before I was married. I used to sing it to myself, because it got inside my heart and tugged. Maybe it was a premonition. I never thought so then.
I did not cry when they came for him,
my goodbye was suitably gay;
as if it were not a jagged-edged piece of my heart
that was torn
that was torn
This is my goal with every foster child I keep:
To see inside.
To get a little glimpse into the heart of the real person, and to love him forever.
I have never kept a child long, and have not seen how hard it will get, after months of loving. In the meanwhile I find it deeply fulfilling. And this helps, when I pack the carefully-chosen outfits and write a note to go along, and wave goodbye: I know I got to meet an awesome kid, and he will be a part of me as long as I live.
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.