“‘Who’s going to be my mommy?’ That’s the question I was asked on the way to daycare one morning from a 4-year-old little boy. He was sucking his thumb like he always did and holding a knitted blanket that was almost falling apart. He sticks his fingers through the holes and then his thumb in his mouth.
All the foster parent training in the world doesn’t train you for that question. I didn’t have an answer.
We had only been a foster family for less than a year when we received this little boy. He was challenging to say the least. He witnessed violence and received abuse. He had the saddest but brightest eyes you’d ever seen. He had only been living with us for less than a month when he asked me that pivotal question.
When you decide to be a foster parent and start that process, you know enough to realize that there will be experiences you won’t necessarily be prepared to handle. The training process is fairly intensive. You get to know yourself and your spouse more than you have before. It’s a good thing though.
This particular boy proved to be the child that would rock our family. He was the child that made me think maybe we weren’t cut out for this. He was the child that tested literally every boundary that is known to man. He was the child that I went to social services and told them that he needed to be moved because he physically hurt my own son and I just couldn’t handle that. He was the child that we went through specialized therapy to try to help learn how to control himself and follow simple instructions. He was the child that tested the daycare teachers to the max. This boy brought me literally to my knees in prayer.
I can remember telling my husband several times I just didn’t know if I could keep doing it with this child. I talked to our social worker several times and we started asking for help from respite care. Respite care is when the child you’re taking care of goes to another home for a night or weekend. Our family does respite care, but a few times adoptive families helped us with this child. One weekend he stayed with a family that would ultimately adopt him.
You never know when you say yes to taking care of a child that isn’t your own what the outcome will be. This child was our hardest and longest placement, but we also stay in touch with him. He called us when he accepted Jesus. He called when he pulled a tooth. We kept him for a weekend last summer.
So, when he asked me who’s going to be his mommy, I honestly told him that I didn’t know. But, I also asked him if I could be for a while to which he smiled and nodded yes. That’s what I did to the best of my ability. One of the many blessings of foster care is realizing how far you will go for another child, and how many people will surround you with support and love.”
This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Julie Long. Follow her journey on Instagram here. Do you have a similar experience? We’d like to hear your important journey. Submit your own story here. Be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories, and YouTube for our best videos.
Read more stories from Julie here:
‘My little sister and brother were taken to a foster home. They were only 5 and 3 years-old. They were so scared.’: Woman recounts journey to becoming a foster parent ‘we needed to take one step at a time’
‘I had to remind my son whose prom has been postponed, ‘It could always be worse.’ School was their haven. It was their happy place.’: Mom asks others to not lose their perspective, ‘It could always be worse’
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