‘I could never give them back! It would be too hard.’ It’s not about the ending, it’s about the middle.’: Mom who lost infant daughter shares thoughts on foster care, ‘Loss is part of life’

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This is a follow up story documenting Stephanie’s ongoing journey. Read Stephanie’s full back story here

“A couple weeks ago, our little guy moved to a new foster home. Back when he moved in, we agreed to be a temporary placement of two months. As time passed, we realized he needed a home for a lot longer, which is why he stayed for six months. Due to some bullsh*t circumstances (completely independent of him), we had to make the difficult decision to have him moved.

Before we started fostering, I always wondered why some families had to disrupt (disrupt: when a child is moved unexpectedly from a foster home at the request of the foster parents). Now I understand there are maaaany reasons which have nothing to do with the children themselves. We are dealing with a lot of moving parts when it comes to biological family, social workers, visit supervisors, medical professionals, and so on. In the end, f

It was a lot tougher to say goodbye to our little guy than I thought it would be. We knew we could never be a permanent home for him and he would leave eventually. I still cried, made all kinds of lists about likes/dislikes, routines, visit schedules, printed out pictures of us (at his sweet little request), and had a really difficult time following through on our decision. We felt lucky when his social worker agreed to let us take him to his new home (also super fortunate to have continued contact with his new foster mama).

When I tell someone we had to say goodbye, this is the part where they say, ‘I could never give them back. It would be too hard.’ There are many versions of this, but you see where I’m going. After all the loss our family has had you might wonder: Why would you invite more loss into your lives? I think this is a reasonable question to ask. Honestly, I’ve asked myself the very same thing. We have had more than enough of our share for this lifetime and the reality is we continue to lose Blakey every day. Why would we ask for more?

Maybe I’m a crazy person (let’s be real, not maybe) but here is my view. I think we get so wrapped up in the what could or will be the end, we forget about the beginning and the middle.

I can say with all certainty the little guy changed us. His case was very difficult, and I spent hours upon hours trying to get him what he needed. At times, he had some tough behavior and I felt like we were in over our heads more than once. BUT he was such a sweet little boy.

Everything we did he was excited about (family movies nights were top of the list). I got to learn ALL about Transformers and constantly find rocks in the dryer. I got to comfort him when he had bad dreams and pack his lunch for visits with his family. By the end of his time with us, he considered the girls his sisters. He will always have a piece of my heart and I know Jeff feels the same way.

Loss is part of life. It’s not fair and it doesn’t feel good. But, if we worry about the end, we miss out on the beginning and the middle.”

Courtesy of Stephanie Reid

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Stephanie Reid. Follow their journey on Instagram here. 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 Stephanie’s journey:

‘The first time I heard ‘rainbow baby,’ I was pissed. This storm doesn’t end.’: Mom details acceptance of term ‘rainbow baby’

‘I took a big deep breath. ‘So she was born yesterday?’ We were meant to meet her.’: Couple adopts baby born on late daughter’s birthday, ‘She gave me courage’

‘I know your story. I know what happened to your daughter.’ I felt sad for him. Ours is not a story of triumph.’: Mom shares emotions on child loss, ‘Everything DOES NOT happen for a reason’

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