My teenage foster-daughter moved out today, leaving us to start a new life on the other side of the country. When we took her in, we expected it to be a permanent arrangement, or at least until she was eighteen when staying or going would be her choice. But, within a couple months, this new opportunity presented itself. Two of her other siblings would be going and she decided to accompany them. In the end, she ended up being with us six months and one week.
We knew this was coming. The question was always when. From February on, we kept being told by the Department of Families and Children it would be a couple more weeks. They told us that same thing earlier this week. But then, yesterday at noon, we got the call that she would be leaving this morning. I called her at school so that she could say her goodbyes since she would not be returning. After school, it was a rush of packing and taking her around so that she could say goodbye to her family members who live near here.
She left at nine this morning. As she drove away, the boys and I cried. While she was never truly part of our family, she was part of our lives, and there is a definite sense of loss. My two-year old doesn't understand. My four-year old is acting out - angry and sad, but not having any other way to express it. He's had too much upheaval in his short life.
The past six months were definitely a challenge. There were many times I felt completely out of my depth. At the very least, it was a learning experience. I wasn't a very good mother of five - there never seemed to be enough of me to go around, but I did the best I could. I do feel that we did the right thing taking her in. I hope that she has at least some fond memories of her time with us, and I hope that she will be happy in her new home.
Her new foster-mother could certainly use some prayers. She is attempting to integrate three new children into her family and will now be raising six children ages 10 - 17. She also has three adult children.
As for us, we now try to adjust to a another new normal. The past several years seem to have been one upheaval after another. I'm exhausted and more than a little scared of the next test God is going to send me. All I can do is keep going - one day at a time.