Monday, August 27, 2012

My little Charlie*

I wanted to share one story from my foster care arsenal.

We got a sibling group of 3.  All 3 were 3 years and under and mom was expecting number 4.  She did great in rehab and the first 2 children were able to be with her and the baby.  Sadly for him, little Charlie, the 3 year old, needed to stay with us for a bit longer.  I won't lie and say that having his mom in rehab was easy for us.  The rehab was not flexible with visits.   But with help of neighbors, we made it work. He stayed with us for 10 months.  He was very bonded to our family as we were with him and we still miss him everyday.  He went to a preschool close to our house.  Every time we drive by, the kids gets nostalgic and miss him.  He lived with us 3 years ago.  Yes, we still miss him.  But guess what?  His mom did it.  She did what so many people couldn't do.  She got clean and kept her family together.  One of the most common comments I get about foster care is "I couldn't never do it, my heart is too big and I couldn't give the kids back."  Yes, it does hurt, but the experiences that you share with that child outweighs the pain.  Like, I don't think that Charlie had ever baked before.  I had him sitting on the counter making banana bread.  The look on his face was priceless.  He wanted to check on the bread every 2 minutes.   And when he ate it, he acted as if nothing tasted better.

He lived with us over holidays, birthday, he went on multiple family vacations with us, and all of our day to day fun. Here he is with Kim's and my family at a father/son camp out. 

 Do we miss him?  Yes, but do we wish he was never in our lives?  No.  Will he remember us?  Probably not.  But we know.  We know the influence he had on us as well as we had on him.  I will forever be thankful for that sweet little boy.  

*I changed names on this story to protect confidentiality.

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